Alzheimer’s disease: research allows us to consider cognitive regeneration

QUEBEC — Canadian scientists are reporting an interesting advance in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease that offers hope for partial restoration of certain cognitive functions.

Researchers from Laval University in Quebec and the University of Lethbridge in Alberta say they have succeeded in preventing certain cognitive symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease in an animal model, rather than just slowing the progression of the disease.

Professor Yves De Koninck, from the Faculty of Medicine and a researcher at the CERVO Research Center at Laval University, points out that the demonstration has yet to be done in humans. However, he writes in a press release that the highlighted mechanism is a very interesting therapeutic target.

Previous research has shown that even before symptoms of Alzheimer’s appear, people who develop the disease experience impaired brain function. Mr. De Koninck explains that there is hyperactivity of neurons and disorganization of signals in the brain.

The hypothesis of the researchers from Quebec and Alberta is that the mechanism that regulates the activity of neurons is disturbed, more precisely, the one responsible for inhibiting neuronal signals.

The scientists found that two regions of the brain were affected by the age of four months in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. In people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, two areas of the brain are also affected.

Maintaining ion circulation in the brain cell membrane would slow or reverse the pathology.

So the researchers developed a molecule in their lab that was injected into mice, resulting in improved spatial memory and social behavior.

Professor De Koninck’s team is looking for other molecules that are well tolerated by people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

The results of the study were published in the scientific journal Brain.

Darell Goodwin

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