Scientists reverse memory loss in animal brain cells
By using a complex mathematical model to determine when brain cells are primed for learning, neuroscientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston say they have successfully reversed memory loss in sea snails.
The researchers simulated a brain disorder in a cell culture using sensory cells from the sea snails. By blocking proteins associated with memory, they were able to create a loss of long-term memory. The scientists then initiated a series of "training sessions," with the timing identified by the mathematical model. The impaired neuron connections returned to near-normal levels after five such sessions, according to the study published in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Though the sea snail has a simple nervous system, its brain cells have properties similar to humans and other more advanced species. The study was designed to serve more as a proof of principle, but holds promise for research in fighting the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.