By: Anna Boyd
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) affects adults 65 and older in the United States. 1 in 9 people with suffer from AD. The biggest symptom of this disease is memory loss. In a recent drug study researchers have discovered that a drug used to treat multiple sclerosis may help alleviate the memory loss.
At the University of Rochester in New York a study was carried out in mice. The researchers gave the drug to mice for 8 weeks and assessed their memory skills throughout the whole process.
The mice used were 15-month-old females, with three different mutations associated with AD. These mice develop the characteristics by the age of 12 months. The mice received injections for 8 weeks with one control group receiving a different injection than the other two groups. The drug for MS has been used for years but it is unknown why can alleviate AD symptoms.
To test the memory of the mice they allowed them to investigate two objects in a box and then proceeded to remove the mice from the box. The scientists left one object and replaced the other with a new object.
They returned the mice after 2 hours and scored them on how much time they spent exploring the objects. The mice preferred the new object indicating the use of a memory. After the 8-week trial the mice improved in their memory skills greatly.
The study witnessed changes in the morphology of the brain which could be an indication of improved memory after the treatment.
Researchers plan to conduct more studies and trials to see whether they can replicate these findings with either the same drug or different drugs.