Cancer Meds Sharpen Memory in Dementia Study

By Deepthi B - 06 Oct '15 13:44PM

According to a recent research conducted by Rutgers University and published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the drug RGFP966 primarily used to treat cancer, appears to have the potential to keep the brain cells alive and enhance memory, reports Science Daily. This cancer drug could make life easier for people suffering from memory-related neurological conditions such as dementia or the Alzheimer's disease.

As per the Rutgers Press Release, Kasia M. Bieszczad, Lead author and assistant professor in Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience, Department of Psychology was quoted as saying, "Memory-making in neurological conditions like Alzheimer's disease is often poor or absent altogether once a person is in the advanced stages of the disease. This drug could rescue the ability to make new memories that are rich in detail and content, even in the worst case scenarios. The application could even extend to people with delayed language learning abilities or people trying to learn a second language."

In the animal study conducted by Rutgers research, laboratory rats were trained to listen and respond to a certain sound, reports Science Daily. Some rats were administered the drug RGFP966 and others were not. It was observed that the rats that were administered the drug after the acoustic training, remembered what they learned and aptly responded to the sound at a much better rate than their fellow counterparts who were not given the drug.

In cases of Alzhemiers or dementia, what happens is that the transmission of information from one neuron to another dies down, causing brain cells to shrink. Currently there are no treatments to slow down or reverse the process, but maybe this cancer drug could change all that, says Science World Report. This drug is used for cancer therapies to control gene activations that leads to turning normal cells into cancerous cells. However in the brain, this drug rewires the neurons to make new and better connections thereby enhancing memory, reports Science Daily.

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