Symptoms of Alzheimer’s affecting patient’s memories could be reversed, new research from MIT indicates.
It might be possible to break down the genetic blockades inside the brain which cause memory loss from Alzheimer’s, a study published in Cell Reports suggests. So far, the theory has only been tested on mice but lead author Li-Huei Tsai is hopeful that eventually it could be successful in reversing the symptom in humans.
Memory loss is a form of cognitive decline which occurs when the enzyme HCAC2 compresses the brain’s memory genes until they are rendered useless which, in turn, leads to forgetfulness and difficulty forming memories. Whilst the obvious solution is to simply block HCAC2 in action, doing so has proven difficult without impacting other HDAC enzymes, which affect the internal organs. MIT’s approach differs in that it exclusively affects HCAC2, leaving other enzymes undisturbed, something which has not yet been achieved.
“This is exciting because for the first time we have found a specific mechanism by which HDAC2 regulates synaptic gene expression,” Tsai explained. If we can remove the blockade by inhibiting HDAC2 activity or reducing HDAC2 levels, then we can restore expression of all these genes necessary for learning and memory,” she said.
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