Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Promising drug candidate reverses age-related memory loss in mice

Date:
October 13, 2010
Source:
Wellcome Trust
Summary:
Researchers report a new experimental compound that can improve memory and cognitive function in aging mice. The compound is being investigated with a view to developing a drug that could slow the natural decline in memory associated with aging.

A new experimental compound that can improve memory and cognitive function in aging mice, researchers report.
Credit: iStockphoto

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh report a new experimental compound that can improve memory and cognitive function in aging mice. The compound is being investigated with a view to developing a drug that could slow the natural decline in memory associated with aging.

Related Articles


With support from a Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery award, the team has identified a preclinical candidate that they hope to take into human trials within a year.

Many people find they become more forgetful as they get older and we generally accept it as a natural part of the aging process. Absent mindedness and a difficulty to concentrate are not uncommon, it takes longer to recall a person's name, and we can't remember where we left the car keys. These can all be early signs of the onset of dementia, but for most of us it's just part of getting old.

Such memory loss has been linked with high levels of 'stress' steroid hormones known as glucocorticoids which have a deleterious effect on the part of the brain that helps us to remember. An enzyme called 11beta-HSD1 is involved in making these hormones and has been shown to be more active in the brain during aging.

In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the team reports the effects of a new synthetic compound that selectively blocks 11beta-HSD1 on the ability of mice to complete a memory task, called the Y maze.

Professor Jonathan Seckl from the University of Edinburgh, who discovered the role of 11beta-HSD1 in the brain, described the findings: "Normal old mice often have marked deficits in learning and memory just like some elderly people. We found that life-long partial deficiency of 11beta-HSD1 prevented memory decline with aging. But we were very surprised to find that the blocking compound works quickly over a few days to improve memory in old mice suggesting it might be a good treatment for the already elderly."

The effects were seen after only 10 days of treatment.

Professor Brian Walker and Dr Scott Webster from the University of Edinburgh are leading the drug development programme. Professor Walker added: "These results provide proof-of-concept that this class of drugs could be useful to treat age-related decline in memory. We previously showed that carbenoxolone, an old drug that blocks multiple enzymes including 11beta-HSD1, improves memory in healthy elderly men and in patients with type 2 diabetes after just a month of treatment, so we are optimistic that our new compounds will be effective in humans. The next step is to conduct further studies with our preclinical candidate to prove that the compound is safe to take into clinical trials, hopefully within a year."

The 11beta-HSD1 enzyme has also been implicated in metabolic diseases including diabetes and obesity by the Edinburgh team, and similar drugs that block its activity outside of the brain are already under investigation.

This study was supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council (MRC). The drug development programme in Edinburgh is supported by a Seeding Drug Discovery award from the Wellcome Trust.

Dr Rick Davis of the Wellcome Trust commented: "Developing drugs that can selectively inhibit this enzyme has been a challenge to the pharmaceutical industry for nearly 10 years. Advancing this compound towards clinical trials takes us a step closer to finding a drug that could have far reaching implications as the population ages."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wellcome Trust. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Karen Sooy, Scott P. Webster, June Noble, Margaret Binnie, Brian R. Walker, Jonathan R. Seckl, and Joyce L. W. Yau. Partial Deficiency or Short-Term Inhibition of 11β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 Improves Cognitive Function in Aging Mice. Journal of Neuroscience, 2010; 30: 13867-13872 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2783-10.2010

Cite This Page:

Wellcome Trust. "Promising drug candidate reverses age-related memory loss in mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101012173222.htm>.
Wellcome Trust. (2010, October 13). Promising drug candidate reverses age-related memory loss in mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101012173222.htm
Wellcome Trust. "Promising drug candidate reverses age-related memory loss in mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101012173222.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins