Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reduction of excess brain activity improves memory in amnestic mild cognitive impairment

Date:
May 9, 2012
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
New research describes a potential new therapeutic approach for improving memory and modifying disease progression in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. The study finds that excess brain activity may be doing more harm than good in some conditions that cause mild cognitive decline and memory impairment.

Research published in the May 10th issue of the journal Neuron, describes a potential new therapeutic approach for improving memory and modifying disease progression in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. The study finds that excess brain activity may be doing more harm than good in some conditions that cause mild cognitive decline and memory impairment.

Elevated activity in specific parts of the hippocampus, a brain region involved in memory, is often seen in disorders associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), where memory is worse than would be expected for a person's age, is one such disorder. "In the case of early aMCI, it has been suggested that the increased hippocampal activation may serve a beneficial function by recruiting additional neural resources to compensate for those that are lost," explains senior study author, Dr. Michela Gallagher, from Johns Hopkins University. "However, animal studies have raised the alternative view that this excess activation may be contributing to memory impairment."

Dr. Gallagher and colleagues tested how a reduction of hippocampal activity would impact human patients with aMCI. The researchers used a low dose of a drug used clinically to treat epilepsy, for the purpose of reducing hippocampal activity in subjects with aMCI to levels that were similar to activity levels in healthy, age-matched subjects in a control group. The researchers found that treatment with the drug improved performance on a memory task. These findings point to the therapeutic potential of reducing excess activation in the hippocampus in aMCI.

The results also have broader significance as elevated activity in the hippocampus is also observed in other conditions that are thought to precede Alzheimer's disease, and may be one of the underlying mechanisms of neurodegeneration. "Apart from a direct role in memory impairment, there is concern that elevated activity in vulnerable neural networks could be causing additional damage and, possibly, widespread disease-related degeneration that underlies cognitive decline and the conversion to Alzheimer's disease," concludes Dr. Gallagher. "Therefore, reducing the elevated activity in the hippocampus may help to restore memory and protect the brain."

Other scientists who participated in this research at Johns Hopkins University include Arnold Bakker, PhD, Greg Krauss, MD, Marilyn Albert, PhD, Carolyn Speck, Lauren Jones, Michael Yassa, PhD, Amy Shelton, PhD, Susan Bassett, PhD, together with Craig Stark, PhD at University of California at Irvine. The research was support by the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Gallagher is the founder of AgeneBio, a biotechnology company focused on developing treatments for diseases that have an impact on memory, such as amnestic mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. The company is headquartered in Indianapolis.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Arnold Bakker, GregoryL. Krauss, MarilynS. Albert, CarolineL. Speck, LaurenR. Jones, CraigE. Stark, MichaelA. Yassa, SusanS. Bassett, AmyL. Shelton, Michela Gallagher. Reduction of Hippocampal Hyperactivity Improves Cognition in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment. Neuron, 2012; 74 (3): 467 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.03.023

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Reduction of excess brain activity improves memory in amnestic mild cognitive impairment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120509123850.htm>.
Cell Press. (2012, May 9). Reduction of excess brain activity improves memory in amnestic mild cognitive impairment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120509123850.htm
Cell Press. "Reduction of excess brain activity improves memory in amnestic mild cognitive impairment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120509123850.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
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:

More Coverage


Reducing Brain Activity Improves Memory After Cognitive Decline

May 10, 2012 Research suggests a new approach to improving memory and interrupting disease progression in patients with a form of cognitive impairment that often leads to full-blown Alzheimer’s ... read more
from the past week

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