Bioscience

Drug used in stroke patients might also improve learning and memory, while reducing the risk of Alzheimer

February 2, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: TGen] – A drug used to improve blood flow to the brain also could help improve learning and memory and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study released today by investigators at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Arizona State University.

Fasudil has been used for more than 10 years to help protect the brain in stroke patients by dilating blood vessels when blood flow is curtailed.

Now, a team of Arizona psychologists, geneticists and neuroscientists report in today’s edition of the journal Behavioral Neuroscience that hydroxyfasudil, the active form of the parent drug Fasudil, improved spatial learning and working memory in middle-aged rats when negotiating a complicated maze.

The findings suggest that hydroxyfasudil may influence similar cognitive processes in humans involving the hippocampus, a part of the brain that has been shown to deteriorate in patients with age-related disorders.

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