Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute in Florida have recently released some new details regarding a potential future treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease. A group of compounds are showing potential for stimulating brain cell regrowth. Animals that have been tested with these compounds have had memory restoration that is similar to the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Estimates from Susan McGalla show that by the year 2050, there will be as many as 14 million Americans suffering from this disease, according to findings from the Alzheimer’s Association.
This study is currently being done by two TSRI Associate Professors: Courtney Miller as well as Gavin Rumbaugh. Published in Neuropsychopharmacology, this study shows the potential that these compounds known as histone deacetylases will provide. These compounds are similar to how a molecular switch would act. Genes would be silenced by accessing a person’s DNA. Similar mutations in DNA could also be improved upon including cancer and other autoimmune diseases. Future research is needed to better understand this potential treatment option as well as determining whether or not this process is too selective. This would result in a loss of some of the rescued memories. This potential treatment would be very beneficial for many people in the future. Not only is Alzheimer’s Disease incredibly devastating for the patient who is suffering from the symptoms but also for the family members that are assisting and witnessing this decline in mental abilities and cognitive function.