New molecules developed at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have shown signifcant promise in their ability to reverse memory loss associated with depression and ageing.
Not only do these molecules improve cognitive symptoms, but remarkably also appear to renew the underlying brain impairments that cause memory loss in the first place.
The study, published in January 2019 in Molecular Neuropsychiatry has far reaching implications as there are currently no medications to treat symptoms such as memory loss that occurs in patients suffering from depression or other mental illnesses.
In the study, a single dose of these new molecules was administered in preclinical models of stress-induced memory loss. Thirty minutes later memory performance returned to normal levels. Researchers actually retested and reproduced the same effect no less than 15 times.
Dr. Sibille, lead researcher, said: “The aged cells regrew to appear the same as young brain cells showing that our novel molecules can modify the brain in addition to improving symptoms.
“We’ve shown that our molecules that enter the brain, are safe, activate the target cells and reverse the cognitive defect of memory loss.”
Dr. Sibille and his team are aiming to take their findings into real clinical research in less than two years.
If successful the potential applications of the treatment would be incredible – one example being the use of these molecules to prevent memory loss typically found in early stage Alzheimer’s disease – potentially delaying or halting any worsening of the condition.