Smart pills.

Reuters reports on a potential Alzheimer’s cure that helps grow more brain cells:

“We make new neurons every day in our brain,” Andrew Pieper of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas who worked on the study, said in a telephone interview. “What our compound does is allow more of them to survive.”

The researchers went through 1,000 representative compounds from 300,000 chemicals, pooled them and administered them to mice. They then dissected the brains to see whether any of the mice had made new cells in the hippocampus, a region of the brain associated with learning and memory.

They eventually narrowed the field to P7C3.

When they gave it to old rats for two months, the elderly rodents did far better than other old rats in learning their way around a water maze.

When dissected, the treated rats turned out to have three times the usual number of newborn neurons in a brain region called the dentate gyrus.

They made a derivative of P7C3 called A20 that worked even better.