New mechanism restores memory in mice with Alzheimer’s


US researchers have discovered that increased production of new neurons in mice with Alzheimer’s disease saved the animals’ memory problems.
The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, shows that new neurons can integrate into neural circuits that store memories and restore their normal function, suggesting that boosting neuronal production could be a viable strategy for treating Alzheimer’s patients.
New neurons are produced from neural stem cells via a process known as ‘neurogenesis’. Previous studies have shown that ‘neurogenesis’ is impaired in both Alzheimer’s patients and lab mice that carry genetic mutations linked to Alzheimer’s disease, particularly in a region of the brain called the hippocampus that is important for memory acquisition and recovery.
In the new study, Orly Lazarov of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, US, and colleagues enhanced the process of “neurogenesis” in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers deleted Bax, a gene that plays a key role in the death of neural stem cells, which eventually leads to the maturation of more new neurons. Increased production of new neurons, in this way, restored the animals’ performance on two different tests measuring place recognition and contextual memory.
By fluorescently labeling neurons that are activated during memory acquisition and retrieval, the researchers determined that in the brains of healthy mice, the neural circuits involved in storing memories include many newly formed neurons along with older, more mature neurons. These memory storage circuits contained fewer new neurons in mice with Alzheimer’s disease, but the integrity of newly formed neurons was restored when neurogenesis increased.
Additional analyzes of neurons, which form memory storage circuits, revealed that enhanced neurogenesis also increases the number of dendritic vertebrae, structures at synapses known to be essential for memory formation, and restores the normal pattern of neuronal gene expression.
Lazarov and colleagues confirmed the importance of newly formed neurons in memory formation by specifically disabling them in the brains of Alzheimer’s mice. Disrupting those cells reversed the benefits of boosting neurogenesis, preventing any improvement in the animals’ memory.
“Our study is the first to show that impaired neurogenesis in the hippocampus plays a role in memory deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the availability of immature neurons for memory formation,” Lazarov says. “Our results suggest that increased neurogenesis may be of therapeutic value. For Alzheimer’s patients.

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Suraj Sewatkar
Suraj Sewatkar
Hi !!! This is Suraj Sewatkar, a blogger by hobby and HR by profession. I like to learn new things and go to new places. I am a website developer and have developed a number of websites and blogs on Blogger as well as WordPress as well with 3 years of experience in the HR field

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