Navigation Links
Drug triggers body's mechanism to reverse aging effect on memory process

A drug made to enhance memory appears to trigger a natural mechanism in the brain that fully reverses age-related memory loss, even after the drug itself has left the body, according to researchers at UC Irvine.

Professors Christine Gall and Gary Lynch, along with Associate Researcher Julie Lauterborn, were among a group of scientists who conducted studies on rats with a class of drugs known as ampakines. Ampakines 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 this study, the researchers showed that ampakine drugs continue to reverse the effects of aging on a brain mechanism thought to underlie learning and memory even after they are no longer in the body. They do so by boosting the production of a naturally occurring protein in the brain necessary for long-term memory formation.

The study appears in the August issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

"This is a significant discovery," said Gall, professor of anatomy and neurobiology. "Our results indicate the exciting possibility that ampakines could be used to treat learning and memory loss associated with normal aging."

The researchers treated two groups of middle-aged rats twice a day for four days with either a solution that contained ampakines or one that did not. They then studied the hippocampus region of the rats' brains, an area critical for memory and learning. They found that 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. This enhancement is responsible for long-term cognitive function, higher lear ning and the ability to reason. With age, deficits in LTP emerge, and learning and memory loss occurs.

Significantly, restoration of LTP was found in the middle-aged rats' brains even after the ampakines had been cleared from the animals' bodies. The drug used in the injections has a half-life of only 15 minutes; the increase in LTP was seen in the rats' brains more than 18 hours later. According to the researchers, this study suggests that pharmaceutical products based on ampakines can be developed that do not need to be in the system at all times in order to be effective. Most drugs used to deal with central nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, are only effective when they are in the body. Further studies will be needed to determine exactly how long the effect on LTP will be maintained after the ampakines leave the system.

The lingering presence of LTP also appears to contribute to BDNF remaining in the body, researchers said. "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."


'"/>

Source:University of California - Irvine


Related biology news :

1. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
2. Source of molecular triggers in cutaneous T cell lymphoma identified
3. A whole lot of shaking goin on triggers early hatching in red-eyed tree frogs
4. Nicotine triggers the same brain reward circuitry as opiates
5. Sudden change in social status triggers genetic response in male fish, study finds
6. Researchers now able to look deep into heart to view triggers of a hearts beat
7. Electric jolt triggers release of biomolecules, nanoparticles
8. Chemical switch triggers critical cell activities
9. Glucose triggers brain cell death in rats after hypoglycemic coma
10. Scientists discover the bodys marijuana-like compounds are crucial for stress-induced pain relief
11. Newly discovered genetic disease sheds light on bodys water balance
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016 ... "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their ... ) , ,The global gait biometrics market ... 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. Gait ... which can be used to compute factors that ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... -- Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring under ... M.D., who returned to the company in October 2015. ... including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , Ph.D., ... Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael Kaiser ... Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 and ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... , PROVO and ... -- Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest ... for molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders ... technology respectively, today announced the launch of a project ... sequencing (NGS) testing panel. NSO has ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel ... clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module ... circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... BOSTON , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo ... biology to industrial engineering, was today awarded as ... a selection of the world,s most innovative companies. ... at scale for the real world in the ... organism engineers work directly with customers including Fortune ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers ... the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are ... to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... - FACIT has announced the creation of a ... Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), to ... of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment of ... an exciting class of therapies, possessing the potential ... patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: