Memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients could be reversed following the discovery of a molecule that can rejuvenate the brain.
People with Alzheimer’s have low stores of the molecule, microRNA-132, especially in the brain’s hippocampus region, which is causing memory loss, a typical symptom of the disease.
Researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience say that healthy people’s brains go through constant renewal, or neurogenesis, which allows us to maintain cognitive and memory abilities into old age.
But it’s a process that isn’t happening in Alzheimer’s patients, the researchers say, because they have low levels of the molecule, which appears to be the trigger for neurogenesis. In studies on neural stem cells, the researchers found that adding the molecule restored neurogenesis, and which suggests memory would also be improved.
Targeting the use of the molecule as a new therapy is a next stage, the researchers say.
(Source: Cell Stem Cell, 2021; doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2021.05.001)