Genetically modified Mensa mice may help sufferers from Alzheimer’s, PTSD

Genetically modified Mensa mice may help sufferers from Alzheimer’s, PTSD
(Image via UK Independent)

Scientists have genetically modified mice to be super-intelligent and found they are also less anxious, a discovery that may help the search for treatments for disorders such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Researchers from Britain and Canada found that altering a single gene to block the phosphodiesterase-4B (PDE4B) enzyme, which is found in many organs including the brain, made mice cleverer and at the same time less fearful.

“Our work using mice has identified phosphodiesterase-4B as a promising target for potential new treatments,” said Steve Clapcote, a lecturer in pharmacology at Britain’s Leeds University, who led the study. …

In the experiments, published on Friday in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, the scientists ran a series of behavioral tests on the PDE4B-inhibited mice and found they tended to learn faster, remember events longer and solve complex problems better than normal mice.

The “brainy” mice were better at recognizing a mouse they had seen the previous day, the researchers said, and were also quicker at learning the location of a hidden escape platform.

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