Easter Island 'holds secret to Alzheimer's cure'

4 July 2012

A type of bacteria found on Easter Island could play a key role in the development of new therapies for Alzheimer's and other neurological disorders, experts have suggested.

Specialists at the University of Texas used samples of a bacteria found in the soil of Easter Island that acts a natural drug and discovered that it had positive results when used in tests involving mice.

The drug – named rapamycin - was found to stunt decline in brain function as the mice aged, and experts suggest it could also be used to help treat depression.

Lead author Professor Veronica Galvan explained that younger mice administered with the drug were able to better remember things when taught.

"Among the older mice, the ones fed with a diet including rapamycin actually showed an improvement, negating the normal decline that you see in these functions with age," she added.

"This is super-interesting and something we are going to pursue in the lab,’ the expert added.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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