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Snail Experiment Provides Hope for Alzheimer's Treatment

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posted on Oct, 24 2005 @ 07:15 PM
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A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science showed that bryostatin, a cancer drug, dramatically increased the long-term memory of snails. Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, home of the study authors, has already patented bryostatin in hopes of developing a treatment for alzheimer's. News Article link and quotes regarding the startling effect bryostatin had on the snails' learning and memory retention follow:



Snail memory boost seen promising for Alzheimer's
An early symptom of Alzheimer's disease is losing the ability to store new memories for the long term and bryostatin appears to enhance this long-term storage.

In the snail experiment, researchers put bryostatin in sea water, days in advance of any learning or training, causing certain proteins to be made by the neurons of the snails.

When the snails were trained days later, instead of remembering something for a minute or two, they would remember it for weeks, researchers said.


The article also mentions that previously, it was determined that bryostatin was able to prevent build-up in the brains of mice, the build-up being the type seen in Alzheimer's cases.

I found the increase in long-term memory of the snails in the experiment to be shockingly dramatic! At least this bryostatin therapy might be another option in the fight against alzheimer's. No specific date was mentioned as to when clinical trials would commence.




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