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U of MN researchers reverse memory loss in mice

same reversal may be possible in humans, and that people with Alzheimer's disease may be able to recover memory and improve in cognitive function if they can halt progression of the disease.

The study measured the mice's spatial memory through a water maze--a pool of water with a submerged platform. The use of this maze taps into the hippocampus, an area of the brain important in Alzheimer's disease research.

Since mice are not fond of water, they will swim to find the platform. First the mice were put in the pool and allowed to learn where the platform is located. After they learn where the platform is, the platform is removed, and the mice are again put in the pool. The researchers measured how much time the mice spent swimming in the area where the platform should have been.

Since the mice were designed to develop dementia, over time they forget where the platform should be and swim aimlessly around the pool. After the researchers turn off the gene expressing the memory loss, the same mice that swam aimlessly around the pool would again concentrate their search on the area of the pool where the platform was located, thus showing memory recovery.

Researchers from the Department of Neuroscience at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, and the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital contributed to the study.


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Source:University of Minnesota


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