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Reversing Early Alzheimer’s

January 13, 2011

Scientists have erased learning and memory deficits in a mouse model of early Alzheimer’s disease.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Beating back early Alzheimer’s…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Learning and memory problems are among the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Now, scientists at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center have successfully reversed those symptoms in mice. Neuroscientist Salvatore Oddo and his colleagues used a protein called CBP, which boosts other proteins involved in learning and memory. They injected CBP into mice that were just starting to show Alzheimer’s-like mental deficits. Two weeks later, the treated mice went up against healthy mice in a water maze challenge.

SALVATORE ODDO (University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio):
They were performing as well as the control mice.

HIRSHON:
Meanwhile, mice with untreated Alzheimer’s symptoms had gotten much worse. The results are promising, but human trials are a long way off. First, Oddo plans to find out if the technique works on mice with more advanced symptoms. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.