Science and Technology
30.10.2010

New synthetic compound prevents memory loss associated with aging

Substance can be used in the creation of drugs that improve brain function in aged rats within just 10 days

Foto: Divulgação/Photoshop Contest
Researchers discover that compound significantly improves memory and brain function
Researchers discover that compound significantly improves memory and brain function

Researchers at the University of Edinburg, UK, have discovered a compound that could be used to develop drugs to help prevent memory loss associated with aging. The study found that the compound significantly improves memory and brain function in aged mice within just 10 days.

Memory loss has been associated with high levels of stress hormones steroids known as glucocorticoids. An enzyme called 11beta-HSD1 is involved in the creation of these hormones and has been more active in the brain during aging. The researchers found that using a new synthetic compound, they were able to block the 11beta-HSD1.

In older mice the compound has led to improvements in the ability of mice to complete a memory task, called the labyrinth Y.

"Normal Rats have marked deficits in learning and memory as well as some older people. We found that partial deficiency of 11beta-HSD1 lifelong prevents memory loss with aging. But we were very surprised to find that the compound works quickly within a few days to improve memory in older mice, suggesting that it could be a good immediate treatment for the elderly, "said Professor Jonathan Seckl.

"The next step is to make further studies of preclinical candidates to prove that the substance is safe to be applied in clinical trials, hopefully within a year," said Brian Walker.

Spain

Source: Isaude.net