A brand new young team of Candian Scientist has developed a revolutionary experimental drug that is said to result in rapid improvements to both mood and memory following the testing of animals. They hope to move to human trials within the next two years.
According to the study, Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a key neurotransmitter, and when altered can play a significant role in the development of psychiatric conditions to cognitive degeneration.
The new data shows the development of several new molecules that are structurally based on benzodiazepines, however with small tweaks to enhance their ability to target specific parts of the brain specifically.
The main objective was to discover a new therapeutic agent that can effectively combat age-related memory loss and mood swings mainly caused by disruptions in the GABA systems.
“Currently there are no medications to treat cognitive symptoms such as memory loss that occur in depression, other mental illnesses, and aging,” explains Etienne Sibille, from the Center for Addiction and Mental Health and lead scientist on the new study.
The testing conducted on animals proves to be remarkably effective, with old mice showing rapid improvements in memory test within an hour of taking the drug, which resulted in performance similar to much younger mice.
Daily intake of the drug which was over a period of 2 months showed results in actual structural regrowth of brain cells, regenerating their brains to the state that resembles the younger mice.
“The aged cells regrew to appear the same as young brain cells, showing that our novel molecules can modify the brain in addition to improving symptoms,” says Sibille.
Although many believe the experimental drug is the next miracle of cognitive enhancer, the medication had no beneficial effects when administered to younger mice.
This means that the drug’s capabilities are modeled directly to the brains GBA system related to normalizing either age or stress related disruptions.
Development is still in its early stages, yet while it has demonstrated safe and effects result in animals, the testing on humans is yet to be proven harmless and beneficial.
However, the researchers claim that human trials should begin within the next two years will focus on depression-related memory deficits.
If deemed safe and effects the drug could be used as a preventative tool, administered in small doses to people in their 50’s or 60’s to slow the onset of age-related conditions such as dementia and cognitive impairment.