Drug that grows new nerve cells identified

Last Updated: Jul 10, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

Washington: Researchers have identified a drug that makes new nerve cells grow and replace damaged ones, a discovery that could help treat dementia.

The researchers infused 1,000 different chemicals into the brains of mice to see their effects.

Then, they identified eight potential chemicals before focussing their attention on P7C3, reports Cell.

P7C3 was identified as successful in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is used for learning and memory, says a Alzheimer`s Society release.

Generating nerve cells to replace those damaged during Alzheimer`s may be a new avenue of treatment.

Clive Ballard, professor and director of research, Alzheimer`s Society in the US, says: "This important piece of research could lead to the development of new drugs to produce new nerve cells but we don`t yet know if it could be used to treat dementia.

"A million people will develop dementia in the next 10 years. We need further investment in dementia research if we are to move forward in our understanding and treatment of this devastating condition," he said.

IANS