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Gene therapy in Alzheimer’s disease mouse model preserves learning and memory

May 4, 2021

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues elsewhere, have used gene therapy to prevent learning and memory loss in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a key step toward eventually testing the approach in humans with the neurodegenerative disease.

The findings are published online in advance of the June 11, 2021 issue of Molecular Therapy-Methods & Clinical Development.

AD is characterized by the accumulation of clumps of misfolded proteins called amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tau tangles, both of which impair cell signaling and promote neuronal death. Current AD treatments targeting plaques and tangles address only symptoms, which the study’s authors say suggests a reversal and cure of AD will likely require a combination of interventional approaches that both decrease aggregating toxins and promote neuronal and synaptic plasticity.

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