By The Hill. An experimental drug reversed age-related declines in memory and mental flexibility in old mice after just a few doses, according to a study by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
The drug, ISRIB, has previously been shown in other studies to restore normal cognitive function in mice after traumatic brain injury, enhance memory in healthy mice and mice with Down syndrome, as well as prevent noise-related hearing loss.
The experimental drug works by interfering with the body’s Integrated Stress Response (ISR). The ISR slows down protein production in cells if something is wrong, such as a viral infection or injury, to give the cells time to heal. But as both memory and learning depend on active protein production, the ISR can lead to problems if it remains in the “on position” in the brain. . .
For the recent study published this month in the journal eLife, researchers trained older mice to escape from a watery maze by finding a hidden platform, a task researchers said is typically more difficult for older mice to learn. But the study found mice that received small doses of ISRIB over a three-day training process were able to complete the task as well as younger mice and much better than mice of the same age who weren’t given the drug.
“ISRIB’s extremely rapid effects show for the first time that a significant component of age-related cognitive losses may be caused by a kind of reversible physiological ‘blockage’ rather than more permanent degradation,” Susanna Rosi, UCSF professor in the departments of Neurological Surgery and of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, said. (Read more from “Drug Reportedly Reverses Age-Related Mental Decline in Mice Within Days of First Dose” HERE)
Scientists Find Root Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease
By Knowridge Science Report. In a new study, researchers have discovered a new mechanism by which clumps of tau protein are created in the brain, killing brain cells and causing Alzheimer’s disease.
A specific mutation to an enzyme called MARK4 changed the properties of tau, usually an important part of the skeletal structure of cells, making it more likely to aggregate and more insoluble. . .
Alzheimer’s is said to be caused by the build-up of tangled clumps of a protein called “tau” in brain cells.
These sticky aggregates cause neurons to die, leading to impairment in memory and motor functions. It is not yet clear how and why tau builds up in the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients. (Read more from “Scientists Find Root Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease” HERE)