Mice treated for memory loss
Mice treated with a brain enzyme inhibitor performed better in memory tests than untreated mice. Spatial memory is key to being able to function independently, whether navigating your way around a shopping complex or finding your way around your kitchen.
The inhibitor reduced the activity of a brain enzyme that damages the hippocampus and reduces spatial memory. Mice that had been treated performed better in mazes than untreated mice.
Loss of spatial memory is associated with a number of degenerative conditions of old age, such as Alzeimer's disease, so any treatment that can diminish this loss would be extremely useful to the third of us who will suffer memory loss with ageing.
As no side-effects from the treatment have been detected so far, the treatment is expected go into human trials in the near future.