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Blockade of Learning and Memory Genes May Occur Early in Alzheimer's
Myriam
Posted: Monday, March 5, 2012 2:24 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


From Alzheimer's Daily News:


(Source: PharmaBiz) - A repression of gene activity in the brain appears to be an early event affecting people with Alzheimer's disease, researchers found. In mouse models of Alzheimer's disease, this epigenetic blockade and its effects on memory were treatable.

"These findings provide a glimpse of the brain shutting down the ability to form new memories gene by gene in Alzheimer's disease, and offer hope that we may be able to counteract this process," said Roderick Corriveau, PhD.

Li-Huei Tsai, PhD, and colleagues found that a protein called histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) accumulates in the brain early in the course of Alzheimer's disease in mouse models and in people with the disease. HDAC2 is known to tighten up spools of DNA, effectively locking down the genes within and reducing their activity, or expression.

In the mice, the increase in HDAC2 appears to produce a blockade of genes involved in learning and memory. Preventing the build-up of HDAC2 protected the mice from memory loss.

Gene therapy to reduce the levels of HDAC2 prevented the blockade of gene expression. The treatment also prevented learning and memory impairments in the mice. It did not prevent neuronal death, but it did enhance neuroplasticity - the ability of neurons to form new connections.

Go to full story: http://pharmabiz.com