Alzheimer’s Disease and other memory-destroying ailments may one day be cured with a drink. Yale neurology and neuroscience professor Stephen Strittmatter and his colleagues at the School of Medicine evaluated more than 50,000 compounds before finding that an antibiotic known as cefixime could be reengineered and administered orally—to mice, at least—to safely stop the early processes leading to dementia. The drug even restored learning and memory. In Cell Reports, Strittmatter’s team suggests that the approach “will be therapeutically effective in neurodegenerative conditions.” Work to develop the compounds for human clinical trials is under way.

At least two million people worldwide are afflicted by multiple sclerosis, an often crippling disease in which, for as yet unknown reasons, the body’s immune system attacks its own nerve cells. Scientists have identified at least 230 genetic variants associated with MS, and School of Medicine neurology associate professor David Pitt and fellow researchers have linked one of them—rs7665090G—to changes in the brain that make it more likely that immune cells will enter the brain and start their devastation. MS patients identified with this variant early in the disease process may “benefit from therapies that specifically target this pathway,” noted Pitt’s team in Nature Communications.

Yes, about half of US teenagers are overweight. But there’s nothing inevitable about weight gain. School of Public Health psychology professor Jeannette Ickovics, working with colleagues at Yale and the University of Connecticut, tracked the body mass indexes of some 600 New Haven middle-schoolers for five years. The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, showed that students enrolled in schools with strong nutrition policies and programs remained within healthy weight limits—while their counterparts in schools lacking such programs put on significantly more weight.

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