Yoram Yasur Blume
The results of research carried out by a team of specialists at Columbia University in the United States suggest that the memories lost by people suffering from Alzheimer’s may actually be recovered by some special techniques.
Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people around the world, making them lose many of their memories progressively. The research used a technique called ‘optogenetic’, which as its name suggests blends optical techniques with genetic techniques.
The results of the experiment:
Yoram Yasur Blume : The experiment was carried out on mice that had a disease similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans, whereby different parts of their brains were pointed to shine in function of their work, with yellow lights during storage of the memories and being the red lights when the mice consulted previously stored memories, remembering past events.
The mice received an electric shock while being given lemon, to associate that fruit with a negative situation. Weeks later, they again received lemon, in front of the watchful eye of the research team.
Yoram Yasur Blume: “Specialists found that healthy mice showed glows of both colors to react with fear, while mice with Alzheimer’s disease showed a different mix that showed they were recovering memories from an incorrect part of the brain”.
Yoram Yasur Blume : The team believes that the results of the research could revolutionize the way Alzheimer’s disease is treated with the potential to develop new drugs to recover lost memories. The team used a blue laser to reactivate the memory of mice with Alzheimer’s disease, making them feel afraid again at the smell of lemon, which technically counts as a recovery of a lost memory.
The expectations of research:
Yoram Yasur Blume : Expectations are high in terms of upcoming investigations, for if illness instead of destroying memories simply blocking the mechanisms for accessing them would be opening the door for them to be salvaged in some way.
Yoram Yasur Blume: “The report says that “the results indicate that memory still exists and has not been degraded, but is difficult to access when Alzheimer’s disease is present.”
Yoram Yasur Blume : However, there are still reservations from the medical community because mice and humans have shown some differences in the evaluation of the number of neurons lost during the course of the disease, although science should continue to investigate”.
At the moment we can only wait for more experiments and research on this, although the cure for Alzheimer’s disease seems to be getting closer.