Jul
30
2006

New help for old brains

Help for old brains: Help for memory disfunction   photo from wikimedia
Help for old brains: Help for memory disfunction photo from wikimedia

Cure for Old Timer's Disease

Thinking and remembering depends upon chemical reactions within and between brain cells. With age, certain needed chemicals are deficient, and learning and memory loss occurs.
Ampakines (the drug used in this study) were developed in the early 1990s by UC researchers, including Lynch, to treat age-related memory impairment and may be useful for treating a number of central nervous system disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.

In the ampakine-treated rats, there was a significant increase in the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein known to play a key role in memory formation. They also found an increase in long-term potentiation (LTP), the process by which the connection between the brain cells is enhanced and memory is encoded.
“Ampakines work in two important ways to improve learning and memory,” Lauterborn said. “They directly stimulate the connection between nerve cells, which has an immediate effect of boosting LTP. But they also increase the presence of this important protein, BDNF, that can stay in the body and keep boosting memory after the drug has worn off.”

Read more in the University of California, Irvine press release.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Very good stuff.

posted on Fri, 02/16/2007 - 12:52pm

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