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Home Industry News Study uncovers key findings about long-term memory retention

Study uncovers key findings about long-term memory retention

22nd March 2011

Researchers have discovered key functions of the brain that may provide insight into how long-term memories are created and retained.

A team from Duke University Medical Center has published a study in the journal Nature which suggests that a cascade of signalling molecules in the brain is able to strengthen synapse connections for long periods of time, which causes memory storage.

It was found that the signalling molecules Rho and Cdc42 – which regulate the actin cytoskeleton that acts as the structural framework of synapses – are stimulated by transient increases in calcium (CaMKII) ions.

This results in a process called long-term potentiation, through which short CaMKII signals can be translated into synaptic transmission changes lasting more than an hour.

Dr Ryohei Yasuda, assistant professor of neurobiology and senior author of the study, noted that abnormal Rho and Cdc42 signals are often found among patients with mental illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease.

"Our finding will provide many insights into these diseases," he said.

Last month, a study conducted in France revealed that elderly patients with metabolic syndrome may be at higher risk of suffering memory loss and dementia.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800471781-ADNFCR

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