It is possible that better treatments are on the way and Alzheimer’s memory loss could be alleviated with cancer drugs that would sharpen memory and strengthen the connection of neurons.
- The drug is an Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, called RGFP966, commonly used in cancer treatments
- It may prevent the weakening of connections between neurons by interfering with cell death
- Researchers believe this will aid against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- It will also help with language learning skills for people who had suffered injuries
The incredible finding was discovered in rats by researchers at Rutgers University. There is tremendous amount of potential for numerous conditions hidden within the suggested treatment, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and anyone with language-learning disabilities. The drug could potentially sharpen the memory, and better the lives of patients suffering from memory loss.
Because of dementia of Alzheimer’s, brain cells essentially shrink and die, as the synapses that are responsible for transmitting information from one neuron to the next lose strength. The connections become weak and unstable. And while there are treatments that would slow the progression of the disease, there is no cure. There is also no way to reverse it, and bring the dead cells back.
However, the drug proposed by the study may be able to prevent it altogether.
Researchers injected rodents with a drug called, RGFP966, an HDAC inhibitor that is commonly used in various cancer treatments. It successfully prevents the activation of certain genes that transforms normal cells into cancerous ones. And, perhaps one day, it may be used with a similar preventive purpose in mind for neurons.
The drug may help strengthen the weakening connections between brain cells. It could make the neurons more receptive, and possibly even enhance the process of making memories. This could present it with a vast area of use that stretches even further beyond dementia and Alzheimer’s.
According to the researchers, the rats were more efficient at memorizing sounds and retaining information after being injected with the drug. They could recall much better what sort of patterns they were taught based on a ‘reward system’.
The subjects were able to form new connections that allowed for a smooth and strong connection between brain cells.
Furthermore, the rodents were better ‘tuned in’ on the task, able to distinguish better the acoustic signals they were exposed to during training. This could mean a potentially heightened sensitivity and improved ways of recognizing certain pitches. According to Katia Bieszczad, who is an assistant professor of behavioral and system neuroscience at the university, the type of therapeutic treatment with the drug could improve the lives of people learning to speak again.
It may also aid those with cochlear implantations to reverse deafness. Better processing and memorizing certain sounds is highly crucial to speech and while learning a language. It sharpens the memory and snaps a clearer picture.
The drug could rescue the ability to make new memories, and to actually recall them in much richer detail. It could be vital for patients suffering from memory loss due to Alzheimer’s, dementia or language-learning impairments, due to the hypersensitivity in processing and storing audio information.
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