Monday, January 09, 2012

Future Memory Pill Might Cure Alzheimer's

By JohnThomas Didymus / Source: Digital Journal

Scientists have identified a gene in mice which helps to give them "super memories." The gene also reverses the course of degenerative illnesses like Alzheimer's. Scientists hope to apply the new discovery to develop a pill to enhance human memory.

According to the scientists, brains of human beings and mice are similar in many ways. Both have a molecule called PKR. The Montreal Gazette reports PKR is an immune molecule known to signal viral infections to the brain. According to John Bell, senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, "We recognize that PKR plays a dual role, one in regulating simple everyday processes like the way neurons talk to each other (for) memory, but also has a stress response."

Scientists say the newly discovered gene in mice appears to block the release of PKR. This helps to reverse the course of degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and can also induce "super" memories in mice. The researchers are hoping they will be able to induce similar effect in humans.


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