Alzheimer’s answers from senile sea snails?
Believe it or not, sea snails are helping researchers understand memory loss! These snails, which live for about a year, show signs of slowing down (even more than usual, for a snail) as they age, and researchers have found that their simple systems provide a really good model for studying neurons and how they work.
Neurons work pretty much identically across different species, whether you’re looking at a snail or a mouse or a human. Researchers studied the reflexes of these snails, and actually trained them to respond to stimulation in a certain way. By doing this, they figured out which cells stopped working with age.
This is pretty cool. The information gained from this research will be able to help scientists figure out where to focus their efforts when trying to understand memory loss in humans. Hopefully, these amazing creatures will lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s patients! Read more about it here.