CogniFit's Science blog: Mild Cognitive Impairment Patients Have New Reasons To Look Forward To The Future

Mild Cognitive Impairment Patients Have New Reasons To Look Forward To The Future

Those suffering from amnestic mild cognitive impairment have a glimpse of hope for the future. A new study shows another potential therapeutic approach that can improve the memory of patients while modifying disease progression within.

It states that excess brain activity can do more harm than good in some conditions that lead to mild cognitive decline and memory impairment. You will often find elevated activity within parts of the hippocampus, which leads to an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

One such example of this is with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. The sad result is a worsening mind and memory state than others of the same age experience. What doctors have found is that the increased hippocampal activation can be a highly beneficial function simply by adding additional neural resource to make up for what has been lost.

With that said, researchers have also found while studying animals that the excess activation can be directly correlated with memory impairment. During the latest study, doctors looked to identify how a reduction of hippocampal activity would impact patients suffering from amnestic mild cognitive impairment, or any other form of dementia for that matter.

A low dose of a drug typically used to treat epilepsy was put to use to reduce hippocampal activity in subjects to levels similar to activity levels in healthy individuals in the same age group. What they found was that treatment with the drug not only maintained memory performance, but improved it. Again, CogniFit has also published a peer-review study showing the impact of brain training on mild cognitive impairment.

The hope is that this will lead to potential therapeutic options to reduce excess activation in the hippocampus. Even more impressive is that elevated activity in the hippocampus can also be observed in other conditions like neurodegeneration, while serving as the underlying mechanism.

It seems safe to say that it has a direct role with memory impairment, which is a noticeable finding in its own right. But now there is the news that elevated activity could cause additional damage and widespread disease-related degeneration that leads to the conversion into Alzheimer’s disease.

What this means is if scientists and doctors can reduce the elevated activity in the hippocampus, there is hope for future memory in patients. Memory may be able to be restored while protecting the brain as a whole. 

Developing amnestic mild cognitive impairment is not only discouraging and frustrating, but life-altering. While these findings are still in the initial phase, it is comforting for patients and families worldwide to know that there is hope for the future.