Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Memories are made of this: Uncovering the key to how we learn and remember

Date:
June 29, 2010
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
Researchers in the UK have revealed new information on the mechanism by which memories are formed. Their study found one of the key proteins involved in the process of memory and learning -- a breakthrough that has potential to impact drug design to treat Alzheimer's disease.

New research led by the University of Leicester has revealed new information on the mechanism by which memories are formed.

The study in the Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology found one of the key proteins involved in the process of memory and learning. The breakthrough study has potential to impact drug design to treat Alzheimer's disease.

The discovery was made in the University of Leicester laboratory of Professor Andrew Tobin, Professor of Cell Biology, who is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow.

The work was done in collaboration with other scientists and published online ahead of print in PNAS- the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper was authored by:

Benoit Poulin, Adrian Butcher, Phillip McWilliams, Julie-Myrtille Bourgognon, Robert Pawlak, Kok Choi Kong, Andrew Bottrill, Sharad Mistry and Andrew B. Tobin at the University of Leicester; Jόrgen Wess at the National Institutes of Health and Elizabeth M. Rosethorne, Steven J. Charlton at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.

Professor Tobin said: "The work, which was done wholly at the University of Leicester, is focused on the mechanisms by which we form memories. We found one of the key proteins involved in the process of memory and learning.

"This protein is present in the part of the brain in which memories are stored. We have found that in order for any memory to be laid down this protein, called the M3-muscarinic receptor, has to be activated.

"We have also determined that this protein undergoes a very specific change during the formation of a memory -- and that this change is an essential part of memory formation. In this regard our study reveals at least one of the molecular mechanisms that are operating in the brain when we form a memory and as such this represents a major break through in our understanding of how we lay down memories.

"This finding is not only interesting in its own right but has important clinical implications. One of the major symptoms of Alzheimer's disease is memory loss. Our study identifies one of the key processes involved in memory and learning and we state in the paper that drugs designed to target the protein identified in our study would be of benefit in treating Alzheimer's disease."

Professor Tobin said there was tremendous excitement about the breakthrough the team has made and its potential application: "It has been fascinating to look at the molecular processes involved in memory formation. We were delighted not only with the scientific importance of our finding but also by the prospect that our work could have an impact on the design of drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease."

The work was funded by the Wellcome Trust.

 


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Poulin, A. Butcher, P. McWilliams, J.-M. Bourgognon, R. Pawlak, K. C. Kong, A. Bottrill, S. Mistry, J. Wess, E. M. Rosethorne, S. J. Charlton, A. B. Tobin. The M3-muscarinic receptor regulates learning and memory in a receptor phosphorylation/arrestin-dependent manner. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; 107 (20): 9440 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914801107

Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Memories are made of this: Uncovering the key to how we learn and remember." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628101450.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2010, June 29). Memories are made of this: Uncovering the key to how we learn and remember. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628101450.htm
University of Leicester. "Memories are made of this: Uncovering the key to how we learn and remember." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628101450.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) — Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins