Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Clues to reverse cognitive deficits in people with neurological disorders

Date:
April 26, 2012
Source:
Baylor University
Summary:
The ability to navigate using spatial cues was impaired in mice whose brains were minus a channel that delivers potassium — a finding that may have implications for humans with damage to the hippocampus, a brain structure critical to memory and learning, according to an expert.

The ability to navigate using spatial cues was impaired in mice whose brains were minus a channel that delivers potassium -- a finding that may have implications for humans with damage to the hippocampus, a brain structure critical to memory and learning, according to a Baylor University researcher.

Related Articles


Mice missing the channel also showed diminished learning ability in an experiment dealing with fear conditioning, said Joaquin Lugo, Ph.D., the lead author in the study and an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences. "By targeting chemical pathways that alter those potassium channels, we may eventually be able to apply the findings to humans and reverse some of the cognitive deficits in people with epilepsy and other neurological disorders," Lugo said.

The research was done in Baylor College of Medicine Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center Mouse Neurobehavior Core in Houston during Lugo's time as a researcher there.

The findings are published online in the journal Learning & Memory.

The channel, called Kv4.2, delivers potassium, which aids neuron function in the brain's hippocampus. The hippocampus forms memory for long-term storage in the brain. Potassium also helps to regulate excitability.

Individuals who have epilepsy sometimes exhibit altered or missing Kv.4.2 channels or similar types of channels.

In the experiment investigating navigation, "knockout" mice -- those without the channel -- were tested in a water maze four feet in diameter and 12 inches deep, with eight trials daily -- each lasting about a minute -- over four days, he said. Their performance was compared with that of normal mice.

Both groups responded to visual cues -- colored symbols -- in learning their way around the maze, but the knockout mice did not respond as well as the normal mice in terms of spatial cues -- hidden platforms in the water.

"When the mice don't have this channel, it hurts their ability to learn," Lugo said. In a separate experiment examining fear conditioning, both knockout mice and normal mice were placed in a cage, and researchers sounded a tone before giving the mice a mild electric shock. In repeated trials, both groups began to freeze upon hearing the tone as they anticipated a shock. But the normal mice also reacted to the context -- being placed in the cage -- while the mice who did not have the Kv4.2 channel reacted only to the tone. The research was funded by the Epilepsy Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. J. N. Lugo, A. L. Brewster, C. M. Spencer, A. E. Anderson. Kv4.2 knockout mice have hippocampal-dependent learning and memory deficits. Learning & Memory, 2012; 19 (5): 182 DOI: 10.1101/lm.023614.111

Cite This Page:

Baylor University. "Clues to reverse cognitive deficits in people with neurological disorders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120426134933.htm>.
Baylor University. (2012, April 26). Clues to reverse cognitive deficits in people with neurological disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120426134933.htm
Baylor University. "Clues to reverse cognitive deficits in people with neurological disorders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120426134933.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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