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New Medicine Roundup

July 30, 2010

Scientists are making headway in understanding how new brain cells can survive longer, especially in animals with cognitive loss


Protecting baby brain cells. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

It takes a month for new brain cells to mature and become part of the brain’s wiring. In older animals, especially those suffering from Alzheimers Disease, the cells rarely survive that month. Now NIH researchers have come up with a compound called P7C3 that protects young brain cells and lets them mature. In aging rats, P7C3 improved learning and memory significantly. The goal is the development of new treatments to stop the cognitive loss seen in Alzheimers disease.

In other news, tissue inflammation can trigger cancers, diabetes and other disorders. Some compounds found in fruits and vegetables inhibit inflammation, and researchers may have learned how they work—they inhibit a compound called TBK1. The finding could help them discover other anti-inflammatory agents and develop new ones. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.