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Cancer drug helps improve memory and learning

Within the set of diseases that manifest in the human body, cancer is one of the most complex. There are different treatments to address it depending on the place where it has been detected and how advanced its formation is.

In their attempt to neutralize the effects of cancer, these treatments can cause side effects in the person, such as hair loss, exhaustion, changes in the appearance of the skin and nails, pain, diarrhea, among others.

However, a team of EFPL researchers discovered the property present in a drug used to treat this disease that apparently positively affects memoryhelping to improve it.

This conclusion was obtained from tests done on mice in which the activation of genes associated with brain plasticity was observed after being administered this drug, specifically known as CI-994, which corresponds to a class of inhibitors (HDACis) that are used for different purposes.

Also, this drug can be given to the patient as an adjuvant to chemotherapy, in order to increase the effectiveness of this treatment.

On the other hand, there are studies that give CI-994 the ability to act as cognitive enhancer in animalsalthough exactly how this drug exerts that action was unknown.

This is where EPFL scientists focused their work, carrying out a usual associative memory test in which they took some mice and applied on these a method of contextual conditioning of fear in order to make them develop fear of a specific trigger.

Those who received the CI-994 achieved double your memory capacity during the task, compared to those mice that were subjected to conditioning without using the drug.

Regarding this result, the main author of the study, Johannes Gräff, stated the following:

The drug favors very specific genes, those that are already involved in learning, and does not affect many other genes, for example, those that could have unwanted side effects.

Since the drug is used in humans and has been shown to be safe, it will be easier for those in charge to speed up the adaptation process for new purposes.

In addition to this, it is planned to carry out two clinical trials focused on evaluating the effects of the drug in Alzheimer’s patientsas well as its use in the eradication of phobia associated with spiders.

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