We are all aware of those "senior moments" that come with aging, like not remembering where the car keys are and forgetting someone's name.
Well, scientists may have stumbled upon a cure for this kind of memory loss that seems to work in monkeys: A drug that is already used to treat high blood pressure in adults and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. The finding is published in the journal Nature.
As we get older, the nerve connections in our prefrontal cortexes become weaker, spurring memory problems. Scientists found that by lowering the levels of a brain chemical called cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate) in monkeys with a drug known as guanfacine, the connections are strengthened, thereby reversing the memory loss, according to The Guardian.
Researchers worked with monkeys in three different age groups: young (equivalent of 21 to 27 human years), middle-age (equivalent of 36 to 39 human years) and old (equivalent of 51 to 63 human years). They tested the brain cell activity of the monkeys with a task where they had to remember where a treat was located in a computer simulation, according to LiveScience.
Researchers found that the brain cell activity was not as good in the older monkeys during the task. But when the older monkeys were given the drug, their cells were able to hold signals better and fire just like the brain cells of the young monkeys, LiveScience reported.
Now, researchers are conducting a trial in humans to see if the drug has the same effect on memory, TIME reported.
But research also shows that there are natural ways to boost memory and ward off memory decline. For example, luteolin-rich foods like celery and parsley have been shown to slow cognitive decline in mice.
And in general, exercising, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, doing regular memory games and sleeping well are all things we can do to prevent memory loss, according to WebMD.
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