'Senior Moments' Don't Mean Alzheimer's
Study suggests gene link to normal memory loss
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 29, 2013 7:35 AM CDT
Scientists investigated the hippocampus to learn about memory loss.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Finding yourself a little more forgetful these days? Don't panic—it comes with normal aging, and doesn't necessarily point to Alzheimer's. Scientists investigated the difference between the two processes in the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with memory. While Alzheimer's is known to be associated with a mess of accumulating plaques and proteins, "there’s been a lot of uncertainty about what is actually going wrong" in normal memory loss, a researcher tells Science.

Examining postmortem brain tissue from healthy people ages 33 to 86, the scientists found that the expression of a certain gene, tied to a protein called RbAp48, declined some 50% over the years. Mice bred to have a deficit of RbAp48 had memory trouble from a young age, but elderly mice treated with the protein could regain their memory abilities. "Our study provides compelling evidence that age-related memory loss is a syndrome in its own right, apart from Alzheimer's," a co-author of the study, which could point to future memory treatments, tells WebMD.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
HMD-SMD-ITY
Aug 29, 2013 8:27 PM CDT
So I was taking Ginko to help my memory because I work really horrible hours. But I missed a dose and forgot to take it and then my memory got bad and I couldn't remember to take the ginko so I'm stuck in a bad cycle.
BrushMan
Aug 29, 2013 11:55 AM CDT
Drink kombucha to regain your youth.
StationaryMan
Aug 29, 2013 10:19 AM CDT
Oh yeah? is that what you think? well.......Um........oh crap I forgot what I was going to say.