In medical breakthrough research findings, researchers have been able to reverse the process of memory loss in mice, which had significant brain degeneration.
Researchers from University of Minnesota had manipulated the genes of the mice so that the mice have a clinical condition very similar to the Alzheimer's' disease in humans. Then the researchers used transgene to check the loss of memory. But the research findings showed that the symptoms of memory loss had been reversed and the mice had started regaining the memory they have lost.
Another new findings of the research were the cause of dementia. Previously it was believed that neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid deposits increase in the brain and this leads to brain degeneration and often causes dementia and Alzheimer's' disease. But the research results showed that in the mice that had the memory loss process reversed, there were still increase of neurofibrillary tangles, and amyloid deposits. This shows that these are not the cause of dementia at all.
Dementia is a condition where the person is affected by impaired intellectual capability. Some signs of dementia are short-term memory loss, inability to do concrete or abstract reasoning, difficulty in concentration, inappropriate behavior in social situations etc.
Alzheimer's disease affects the brain cells and slowly destroys them. The main symptoms of the disease are decreasing memory, ability to reason, creative abilities and learning powers. Millions of people all over the world suffer from the two conditions, and the new research findings may make them easier to fit into normal life.
Reference: Science, July 2005