Species Spotlight – Black Bear (U.S. National Park Service)

Written by on April 18, 2024

When tau proteins build up in human brains, they form tangles that progressively get worse causing memories and motor function to diminish. Hibernating bears also experience a massive accumulation of tau in the brain (the proteins may help protect neurons during inactivity), but hibernating bears can quickly clear out the tau-tangles upon wakening with their brains no worse for the wear, memories and motor skills firmly intact. Research is only at an early stage, but the goal is to one day provide human patients drug therapies that can flush out tau proteins in a similar fashion. Hacking hibernation . . .

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