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January 23/30, 2002

Restoring Impaired Memory

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JAMA. 2002;287(4):443. doi:10.1001/jama.287.4.443-JQU10013-4-1

Animal research suggests that a drug used to treat people with high stress levels can help restore memories lost to brain damage. The finding, by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, was published in the December issue of Nature Neuroscience.

The researchers found that administering metyrapone, which limits circulation of the stress hormone corticosterone, to rats restored memories impaired by damage to the brain's hippocampus region. This region is easily damaged by neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, hypoxia, and illnesses related to stress.