Friday, March 18, 2016

Alzheimer’s ‘lost memories’ may one day be recoverable

If your family has ever been touched by Alzheimer's (and that's just about everyone), this story in the Washington Post is one of the most exciting articles ever.

The full headline is: MIT scientists find evidence that Alzheimer’s ‘lost memories’ may one day be recoverable

Scientists had assumed for a long time that the disease destroys how those memories are encoded and makes them disappear forever. But what if they weren't actually gone — just inaccessible?

A new paper published Wednesday by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Nobel Prize-winning Susumu Tonegawa provides the first strong evidence of this possibility and raises the hope of future treatments that could reverse some of the ravages of the disease on memory.

“The important point is, this is a proof of concept," Tonegawa said. "That is, even if a memory seems to be gone, it is still there. It’s a matter of how to retrieve it."

They still don't know how to retrieve it, but this is a huge breakthrough for eventually finding a way.