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Recreating 'Flowers for Algernon' with a happy ending

o memorize spatial clues in order to navigate a water maze and swim to a platform. The normal animals learned to find the platform in seven days; the NF1 mice took 10. After receiving statins, the NF1 mice outraced the normal mice.

Third, Lee tested coordination by training the mice to balance while running on a rotating log, which gradually increased in speed. At first, the NF1 mice would jump off as the log spun faster. But statin therapy enabled the NF1 mice to perform as well as their normal counterparts.

"This is mind-blowing ?we think we have a real fundamental reason to be optimistic," explained Silva. "Here is a drug that affects a key learning and memory pathway, and completely rescues the most common genetic cause for learning disabilities. We don't have to do extensive clinical trials for toxicity or safety ?these were already completed for other uses."


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Source:University of California - Los Angeles


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