Updated 08:58 PM EDT, Wed, Oct 21, 2020

Anti-Cancer Drug can Treat Alzheimer's Disease

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Researchers at Rutgers University have discovered an anti-cancer drug that could aid in improving memory in patients suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia. Using lab rats administered with RGFP966, it was discovered that this drug could also enhance connections within the brain, resulting in sharper memory.

As cited in a recent article by the Science World Report, in people who suffer from dementia and similar disorders, their brain cells deteriorate and die. This causes the links between the synapses to grow weaker and eventually fail.

There are currently no available therapies or treatments that can be used to cure or reverse the effects of Alzheimer's or dementia, as stated in a news report by the Dispatch Tribunal.

According to the same report, a group of researchers from Rutgers University, in collaboration with members from the University of California Irvine's Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, have found a way to improve the patient's memory. The method involves using a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor known as the RGFP966.

The Market Business explains that as an HDAC inhibitor, it is primarily designed to prevent healthy cells from turning into cancerous types. While the drug helps in preventing cancer cells from multiplying, it also assists in enhancing connections between brain cells.

According to the Dispatch Tribunal, the drug was tested on lab rats and has produced promising results. The experiment involved having the rats listen for a specific type of sound to obtain a reward.

During this experiment, the rats that were given the drug were found to remember more information and respond better than the control rodents. This indicates that new connections are being formed in the brain, allowing memories to travel between the cells.

There are many possible applications for the drug, other than improving memory in patients suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's. In the Dispatch Tribunal's news release, Department of Psychology Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience professor and lead researcher Kasia M. Bieszczad states that, "People learning to speak again after a disease or injury as well as those undergoing cochlear implantation to reverse previous deafness, may be helped by this type of therapeutic treatment in the future."

"The application could even extend to people with delayed language learning abilities or people trying to learn a second language," Bieszczad goes on to say in the report.

The full details of the Rutgers University group's research and findings on the RGFP966 drug can be found in this issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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