Costa-Mattioli's team has identified two memory-enhancing drugs, but can they enhance memory in people? It is perhaps too early to say.
Huang said, "mTORC2, as far as we know, is really a new potential target for therapeutic treatments of human disorders. In the next few years, I predict we will see a lot of studies focusing on mTORC2 as a target."
Costa-Mattioli's short-term goals are to identify human cognitive disorders in which mTORC2 activity is dysfunctional and to see whether its restoration can return to normal impaired memory function in aging or even Alzheimer's disease. But a small molecule alone might not do the job. Similar to the treatments for HIV or cancer, he believes that a combination of small molecules improving different aspects of memory formation will be required to efficiently treat cognitive disorders.
"We should start thinking about an efficient 'memory cocktail' rather than a single 'memory pill.' One molecule alone might not be enough. We may be years away from a decisive treatment, but I believe we are definitely on the right path," he said.
Others who took part in this work include Hongyi Zhou, Loredana Stoica and Mauricio Galiano, all of BCM, Kreimir Krnjević of McGill University in Montreal, Canada; and Shixing Zhang of the University of Houston.
|Contact: Glenna Picton|
Baylor College of Medicine