Canadian scientists have announced that they have successfully tested on old mice with dementia symptoms an experimental drug that improves memory and rejuvenates the brain.
Clinical trials in humans are expected to begin within the next two years, with the goal – if everything goes just as well as with experimental animals – developing a pill to help people with Alzheimer’s, other dementias or simply cognitive impairment due to age.
Researchers, headed by Professor Etienne Simil of Toronto’s Center for Addiction and Mental Health, who made the relevant announcement at a scientific conference in Washington (no scientific publication yet), according to the BBC and Gardian, said that such a pills could be taken daily by people over the age of 55 to 60 years to boost their brain cells.
Tests in the lab showed that the old rodents who took the drug had a much better memory within half an hour of taking it and did it almost as well as the young mice. After two months of treatment, their previously reduced brain cells multiplied again.
Researchers have reported that the pill (a benzodiazepine derivative acting on GABA neurotransmitter receptors in the brain) could also be used in patients with depression, schizophrenia or other mental disorders who also experience cognitive impairment and memory impairment.
Experiments have shown that this substance does not “work” in the brain of healthy young animals, so it can not be used to further improve cognitive and memory skills, but only to restore them.