Scientists restore memory in aging mice

scientists restore memory in aging mice

Sumary of Scientists restore memory in aging mice:

  • Scientists at Cambridge and Leeds have successfully reversed age-related memory loss in mice and say their discovery could lead to the development of treatments to prevent memory loss in people as they age.
  • In a study published today in Molecular Psychiatry, the team show that changes in the extracellular matrix of the brain – ‘scaffolding’ around nerve cells – lead to loss of memory with aging, but that it is possible to reverse these using genetic treatments.
  • As we age, the balance of these compounds changes, and as levels of chondroitin 6-sulphate decrease, so our ability to learn and form new memories changes, leading to age-related memory decline.
  • Researchers at the University of Cambridge and University of Leeds investigated whether manipulating the chondroitin sulphate composition of the PNNs might restore neuroplasticity and alleviate age-related memory deficits.
  • To do this, the team looked at 20-month old mice – considered very old – and using a suite of tests showed that the mice exhibited deficits in their memory compared to six-month old mice.
  • Related StoriesThe team treated the aging mice using a ‘viral vector’, a virus capable of reconstituting the amount of 6-sulphate chondroitin sulphates to the PNNs and found that this completely restored memory in the older mice, to a level similar to that seen in the younger mice.
  • The memory and ability to learn were restored to levels they would not have seen since they were much younger.
  • ” To explore the role of chondroitin 6-sulphate in memory loss, the researchers bred mice that had been genetically-manipulated such that they were only able to produce low levels of the compound to mimic the changes of aging.

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