‘Super-smart mice’ may help cure Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia [ Current Affairs ]


About Alzheimer, schizophrenia: Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s are both diseases of the brain that can cause dramatic symptoms. They are different in many ways, but there are some similarities between both.

  • Both can be related with psychotic symptoms.
  • They can include Hallucinations (visions) or Delusions (misunderstandings).
  • Hallucinations are false sensual observations, which can involve someone believing they are seeing things, hearing things, touching things, or smelling things, but these perceptions are not real.
  • Delusions are false beliefs, such as someone believing that they are being followed, believing they are not human or believing they have a incurable illness, though there is nothing to support the accuracy of the beliefs.

About creating of ‘Super - smart mice’:

  • Scientists of UK Dr. Steve Clapcote and Dr. Alexander McGirr have created intelligent and bold mice by changing a single DNA by a belief that it will provide new treatments for brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and post - traumatic stress disorder.
  • This study was led by researchers at the University of Leeds in UK and Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.
  • Researchers altered a DNA to prevent the activity of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase - 4B (PDE4B), which is present in many organs of the vertebrate body, including the brain.
  • In behavioural tests of the PDE4B - inhibited mice showed improved mental abilities.
  • They are able to learn faster, remember events longer and solve complex exercises better than ordinary mice.
  • They were also faster in search of location of a hidden escape platform in a test called the Morris water maze.
  • They also fear less than ordinary mice.
  • Thus, they believe that these mice can cure brain related diseases.

- Published on: August 17, 2015