Scientists have discovered that just a few doses of experimental drugs can reverse age-related issues in the brain like memory loss and memory flexibility in mice. According to the new study, the drug called ISRIB has been used to restore memory function after traumatic brain injury (TBI), reverse cognitive impairments in Down Syndrome, to prevent noise-related hearing loss, to fight against certain types of prostate cancer, and also to enhance cognition in healthy animals.
Scientists have found that the few doses of protein have made young animals’ memories worse and also reduced the growth of new neurons in their brains. Further studies have shown that blocking the protein prevents memory loss in older animals which makes them smarter than other untreated animals of their age.
With respect to the latest research, blood plasma taken from young animals can rejuvenate the muscles, brains, and other tissues of older animals, which made scientists suspect that blood plasma contains a set of factors that either drive or counteract the natural aging process.
It turns out that in the new study they revealed that microglia – a type of white blood cells found in the brain – was extremely vulnerable to changes in the levels of a major inflammatory molecule called prostaglandin E2(PGE2). The team also found that exposure to this molecule badly affects the ability of microglia and other cells which generate energy. ]
Researchers found that these effects occurred only because of PGE2’s interaction with one specific receptor on the microglia. By disrupting it, they were able to normalize cellular energy production and reduce brain inflammation which leads to improved cognitive function in aged mice. This result gives a hope that the cognitive impairment associated with growing older is the transient state we can potentially fix, rather than the inevitable consequences of aging the brain.
The researchers have now undergone a different way to investigate the hope of turning them into therapy. A human trial to test the effects of young plasma on Alzheimer’s patients is already on its way and Japan was all set to start its dementia drug trial on humans last December. This therapy might not extend people’s life but rather it can keep them healthy for longer by breaking the old-age problem, dementia.