BUFFALO, N.Y. — Research published today (Jan. 22) in the journal Brain reveals a new approach to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that may eventually make it possible to reverse memory loss, a hallmark of the disease in its late stages.
Brain disorders, such as AD, are often polygenetic diseases, Yan explained, where many genes are involved and each gene has a modest impact. An epigenetic approach is advantageous, she said, because epigenetic processes control not just one gene but many genes.
“An epigenetic approach can correct a network of genes, which will collectively restore cells to their normal state and restore the complex brain function,” she explained.
“We have provided evidence showing that abnormal epigenetic regulation of glutamate receptor expression and function did contribute to cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease,” Yan concluded. “If many of the dysregulated genes in AD are normalized by targeting specific epigenetic enzymes, it will be possible to restore cognitive function and behavior.”