Epigenetic Therapy Restored Memory, Cognitive Function in Mouse Model of Familial AD

Epigenetic Therapy Restored Memory, Cognitive Function in Mouse Model of Familial AD
Using a new type of approach called epigenetics, researchers were able to temporarily rescue memory and cognitive function in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. The study showed that epigenetic changes — external modifications to DNA to turn genes on or off without changing the actual DNA sequence — are a key contributor to Alzheimer's disease. Targeting these changes may become a new strategy for reversing Alzheimer's symptoms. “In this paper, we have not only identified the epigenetic factors that contribute to the memory loss, we also found ways to temporarily reverse them in an animal model of [Alzheimer's disease],” Zhen Yan, professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and the study’s lead author, said in a press release. The study, “Inhibition of EHMT1/2 rescues synaptic and cognitive functions for Alzheimer’s disease,” was published in the journal Brain. Both environmental and genetic risk factors are known to underlie the development of Alzheimer's disease. However, apart from the identification of a few Alzheimer’s-associated genetic risk factors, "a genetic basis for the majority of this disease has not emerged," researchers said. Recently, epigenetic modifications have been associated with aging and neurodegeneration. Epigenetics refers to changes in organisms brought about by modification of gene expression, rather than by
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