As we age, many of us may struggle to remember simple things, such as directions or what film we watched last night. But researchers from the University of Florida say they have discovered a drug that has the potential to reverse mild cognitive decline among older adults.
This is according to a study recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
The research team, including Prof. Jennifer Bizon of the university’s Department of Neuroscience, explains that the type of memory responsible for the recall of day-to-day items is known as the “working memory.”
We use this memory for everyday activities, such as calculating the final bill after dining in a restaurant.
Prof. Bizon explains that in order to work out a 15% tip, for example, our brains must hold multiple pieces of information in mind for short periods, such as remembering the cost of dinner while calculating the amount of money needed for a tip. This process is central to working memory among other “higher” cognitive processes, according to Prof. Bizon.
In order for working memory to function properly, there must be the right balance of chemicals in the brain. But in their study, which was conducted in rats, the researchers found that high levels of an inhibitory brain neurotransmitter called GABA may disrupt working memory.
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