Lost Memories of Alzheimer’s

Courtesy of Nature

This week, I found an article in The Washington Post called “MIT scientists find evidence that Alzheimer’s ‘lost memories’ may one day be recoverable.” The article describes how a team at MIT used two groups of mice, stimulated Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in one group, then stimulated cells in the hippocampus, and found that the treatment boosted growth of dendrites on neurons. The article provided a link to the study, published in Nature, called “Memory retrieval by activating engram cells in mouse models of early Alzheimer’s disease.” While I found that the article explained the way in which the study was conducted in a clear and concise manner, it left out an important detail: the study only applies to early stages of Alzheimer’s. The article fails to mention exactly how this finding that light stimulates the growth of the neurons works. However, the inclusion of quotes from other experts who were not directly involved with the research in the article was helpful, something that likely strengthens a reader’s understanding of the validity of the study.

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