NIH researchers discover how to reverse memory loss in mice: image via news.yale.eduThis year is starting off with the publication of several promising research studies in biomedicine and reports on big advances in neuroscience, particularly Alzheimer's disease and other neurological causes of memory loss. This news includes a paper from a National Institutues of Health (NIH), published in the January 2013 FASEB Journal reporting on a peptide, TFP5, that when administered to mice with the equivalent of human Alzheimer's disease, successfully reversed their symptoms of memory loss.
TFP-5 was selected to inhibit a brain enzyme known as Cdk5 (cyclin-dependent kinase 5), which is implicated in the formation of plaques and tangles in the brain, a major factor in Alzheimer's disease. To conduct the study, researchers used two groups of mice with the mouse-equivalent of the disease. One group was injected with a small molecule of TFP5-Peptide intraperitoneally, and the control group was injected with a small amount of saline solution.
The mice that received the series of TFP5 injections were found to have restored memory and other abilities they had lost due to Alzheimer's. Moreover, they did not experience any negative effects due to TFP5 - no weight loss, anxiety, or toxicity. In the control group, however, the disease progressed as expected.
Their success with the TFP5 injections leads the NIH research team to believe that similar results can be expected in humans. "Now that we know that we can target the basic molecular defects in Alzheimer's disease, we can hope for treatments far better – and more specific – than anything we have today," said Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal.
Let it be so!
sources: EurekAlert, NIH Office of Technology Transfer