A better treatment for Alzheimer’s patients may be on the horizon thanks to new research from MIT. Researchers at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have discovered that they can reverse memory loss in mice by blocking an enzyme called HDAC2, publishing their work in the Aug. 8 edition of Cell Reports.
HDAC2 turns off genes by condensing them so tightly that they can’t be expressed, kind of like how you can’t wear skinny jeans and eat a mega-burrito for lunch. Scientists have known about HDAC2 for awhile now, but they haven’t had any luck blocking it without also impeding the good work of related enzymes. That’s where the MIT team led by Hidekuni Yamakawa, Jemmie Cheng, and Jay Penney came in. They figured out a way to precisely target HDAC2, allowing them to block it and reverse memory loss. That could be huge news for the future of Alzheimer’s treatment.