Risk for Alzheimers disease escalates dramatically with increasing age in the later decades of life. It is widely recognized that a preclinical condition in which memory loss is greater than would be expected for a persons age, referred to as amnestic mild cognitive impairment, may offer the best opportunity for intervention to treat symptoms and modify disease progression. Here we discuss a basis for age-related memory impairment, first discovered in animal models and recently isolated in the medial temporal lobe system of man, that offers a novel entry point for restoring memory function with the possible benefit in slowing progression to Alzheimers disease.
Keywords: Memory, mild cognitive impairment, hippocampus, dentate gyrus/CA3, pattern separation, pattern completion, animal models, neuroimaging
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