Cancer Drug To Give New Hopes To Patients With Memory Loss
If you are suffering from forgetfulness and are living in the fear of developing dementia later in your life then a new discovery made by a research team from Rutgers University can provide you with peace of mind. The drug called RGFP966 that is currently being used to treat cancer has been found to sharpen memory while tested on animals.
After using the drug on the rats, Kasia Bieszczad from Rutgers University and colleagues found that the use of this drug made the animals more attuned to what they hear. The rats were also found to have developed capacity to store more information and strengthen the connection between the brain cells that enables the memories to be transferred.
According to Ms. Bieszczad, in the advanced stages of neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, the capacity to hold memories gets really poor and sometimes there is complete obliteration of memories. The researcher said that with this drug even in the worst case scenario it is possible to make new memories more vivid.
The patients suffering from dementia are in possession of weak synapses that are responsible for transferring information from one neuron to another. Eventually, these become so unstable that their brain cells shrink and die and no treatment has yet been available to reverse this.
The Alzheimer’s has been the most common form of dementia till date and it generally affects older people of 60 years and above. In the United States alone the number of people suffering from this disease is currently up to 5.3 million, but it is expected to double by 2050 due to an aging population.
The drug RGFP966 that is presently being used in the treatment of cancer belongs to a class of drugs called HDAC inhibitors and is hoped to provide a solution for this condition. This medicine has been found to improve the plasticity of the neurons enabling the brain to make better connections. It also produces other beneficial changes to the brain to improve the memory.
For this particular study, Bieszczad and colleagues trained the rats to listen to a particular sound. The animals were found to remember better what they had learned with the application of this drug. In comparison to those that did not receive the drug, their capability to respond correctly to the sound also increased. The acoustic signals these rats listened to during the training, they were able to follow those more accurately. According to the researchers it is important since setting up the brain to process and store significant sound plays pivotal role in matters of language and speech.