Brain mechanism tied to age-related memory loss
Working with rats, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University have pinpointed a mechanism in the brain responsible for a common type of age-related memory loss. The work, published today in Current Biology, sheds light on the workings of aging brains and may deepen our understanding of Alzheimer's disease and similar disorders in humans.

In experiments the researchers compared young rats with unimpaired memories to older rats with unimpaired memories and older rats with impaired memories. While the older rats with unimpaired memories performed water maze tasks as well as young rats, the neurons in the CA3 regions of their hippocampi were already beginning to favor pattern completion at the expense of pattern separation. Since that physiological finding had not shown up in their behavior, the researchers concluded that something was allowing the rats to compensate for the deficit.

That finding is echoed in humans who remain surprisingly sharp into their older years, the researchers say. So pinpointing the memory loss mechanism could lay the groundwork for learning what prevents memory impairment in some humans, and therefore how to prevent or delay cognitive decline in the elderly.

Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960982222007138?via=ihub
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