December 01, 2004

Memory Pill - Moving Ahead

Good news for those with some aspects of cognitive decline that are common for people with schizophrenia.

Newsweek Magazine reports this week in a story titled "Medicine's Next Level" - that "With new insight into the mechanisms that help keep your brain sharp, neurological researchers move closer to improving your recall with a 'memory pill.'

  No pill to improve memory, aside from alternative remedies of dubious effectiveness, is currently on the market. But several small biotech companies are launching drugs grounded in the latest research, with a few already in the early stages of clinical trials that could be finished in as little as "two years, if we're lucky," says Kandel, who is now at CUMC and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


  The practical results of this work, as well as extensive follow-up tests in mice and rats, are several new drugs now in early development at Memory Pharmaceuticals, founded in part by Kandel in 1998. MEM1414 is the inheritor of the Aplysia findings. Cyclic AMP, the neurotransmitter that dictates CREB levels, is normally degraded in the brain by enzymes called phosphodiesterases. By inhibiting those enzymes' activity, MEM14 appears to boost CREB levels and enhance the brain's long-term memory functions; researchers hope it will enhance long-term memory in patients with age-related forgetfulness and even ward off the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, even though the two ailments are not related. There's also MEM1917, a drug similar to 1414; MEM1003, which protects neurons from damaging overloads of calcium, and MEM3454, a schizophrenia treatment that targets a receptor also known to respond to nicotine. Researchers think that some schizophrenics ease their symptoms, including loss of memory function, by self-medicating with cigarettes.

For More information:

The Full Article - Medicine's Next Level, Newsweek Magazine

Memory Pharmaceutical's Memory Drug Schedule (for Schizophrenia)



Posted by: Aaron Quick at May 12, 2005 10:35 AM

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