An experimental drug known as ISRIB has drawn eyeballs from the medical community over its purported efficiency toward reducing age-related cognitive decline in a short span of time.
The findings of the new experimental treatment were released in the journal eLife.
Conducted by a team at the University of California, San Francisco, the drug’s alleged effectiveness was evident among rodents studied as part of laboratory studies, in which past research demonstrated its potential to treat other conditions as well.
According to the UC San Francisco team, laboratory studies of the experimental drug showed purported effectiveness in enhancing memory function following a traumatic brain injury or complications arising from Down syndrome.
The drug works by inhibiting or even reversing integrated stress response (ISR) activation occurring in the brain during aging, implicating the hippocampus, a region synonymous with learning and memory function.
“ISRIB’s extremely rapid effects show for the first time that a significant component of age-related cognitive losses may be caused by a kind of reversible physiological blockage rather than more permanent degradation,” co-author Susanna Rosi wrote in the news release.
“The data suggest that the aged brain has not permanently lost essential cognitive capacities, as was commonly assumed, but rather that these cognitive resources are still there but have been somehow blocked, trapped by a vicious cycle of cellular stress,” wrote co-author Peter Walter in the same report.
“Our work with ISRIB demonstrates a way to break that cycle and restore cognitive abilities that had become walled off over time,” Walter asserts.