New Discovery in Alzheimer’s Research: Forgotten Memories are Not “Lost”

MIT Researchers have found that people with Alzheimer’s can form new memories and potentially retrieve lost memories.

Alzheimer’s research has been notoriously challenging; scientists report that 99% of drug trials to cure, prevent or treat Alzheimer’s have failed. With so little progress, any new findings are significant, but this specific finding is particularly promising because it uncovers a groundbreaking method.

A recent MIT study demonstrates that light therapy (known as optogenetics) can stimulate connections between specific areas of the brain to retrieve lost memories in mice with Alzheimer’s. Although optogenetics cannot be currently used in humans, the important takeaway for researchers is that you can restore memories by focusing on connections between specific cells in the brain.

Listen to a fascinating interview with MIT’s head researcher via RadioLab, an NPR podcast.



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