Amazing application found Professor the American University.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases. According 2015, and it affects about 30 million people worldwide. In brain tissue of patients accumulate amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.
For a long time it was believed that these changes fully erase memories of the past, affecting the neurons involved in maintaining these memories.
A new experiment conducted by American scientists has shown that lost memories can be restored. The study was conducted using mice bred with genetic engineering. Some neurons of the brain was glowing: yellow — in the process of forming new memories, red — in moments of “challenge” that memory. I have created two genetic lines of mice: healthy animals and mice prone to the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
To find out how memories are reproduced in mice of different lines, the researchers conducted the test. Mice received an incentive (pungent lemon), and then shock. A week later, the mice were given a sniff of the same lemon flavor. Animals are “healthy” line was waiting for the shock. Mouse “sick” line responded to the stimulus twice as often: some of them had forgotten about the connection between scent and current.
This result is confirmed by the activation of neurons. Healthy mice cells-lights, glowed red and yellow, were close to each other, sometimes “overlapping” each other. When you call memories was active in the same cells as in the memory. Patients mice red and yellow cells could vary considerably — so, in response to a stimulus, the animals received a false memory. The investigation of such phenomena described in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. For example, patients incorrectly named the place where they were during the terrorist attack September 11, 2001.
To cause the correct response in mice with impaired memory managed using techniques of optogenetics. For this purpose, the brain cells of rodents with genetic engineering was introduced opsins — light-sensitive receptors. Cell, “storing” necessary memories, stimulated by the laser.
According to scientists, the return of the memories shows that Alzheimer’s disease destroys memories forever. To use this technique on humans is impossible, but in the future may receive drugs that stimulate the desired neurons. In the next stages of the study, the researchers plan to investigate how similar the mechanisms of development of neurodegenerative diseases in humans and mice. It has been established that in rodents Alzheimer’s disease affects brain cells
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