Genetic Switch Can Control Memory May Improve Alzheimer's Quality of Life

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Alzheimer's Disease and Memory

McGill University researchers have discovered that a mutant gene improves the long-term memory of laboratory mice, a discovery they hope will one day lead to a better quality of life for Alzheimer's patients and others suffering from memory impairment.

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"We now have an excellent target for the development of new drugs that would be capable of doing the same thing that we did, which could be of great benefit to an aging population with memory loss," said Dr. Mauro Costa-Mattioli, a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Nahum Sonenberg, James McGill Professor of Translational Control Mechanisms in the Department of Biochemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Scholar at McGill.

Using a mutant gene that regulates the switch from short- to long-term memory in mice, Dr. Costa-Mattioli and his colleagues were able to manipulate biochemical reactions in the animals' brains to control their memory and cognitive behaviour

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