Researchers at EPFL have found that an existing drug used to treat cancer, among other things, also seems to improve memory. Intriguingly, tests in mice show that the drug works by switching on genes associated with brain plasticity.
The drug in question belongs to a class known as HDAC inhibitors (HDACis), which are used for a variety of purposes. This particular one is called CI-994, and it’s administered as a chemotherapy adjuvant, improving the efficacy of the treatment against cancer. Other studies have suggested that the drug also seems to act as a cognitive enhancer in animals, but how it worked in that regard remained unknown.