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More about spatial memory problems associated with Alzheimer's revealed

Date:
October 10, 2012
Source:
University of Western Ontario
Summary:
Researchers have created a mouse model that reproduces some of the chemical changes in the brain that occur with Alzheimer's, shedding new light on this devastating disease.

Researchers at Western University have created a mouse model that reproduces some of the chemical changes in the brain that occur with Alzheimer's, shedding new light on this devastating disease. Marco Prado, Vania Prado and their colleagues at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry's Robarts Research Institute, looked at changes related to a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger, named acetylcholine (ACh), and the kinds of memory problems associated with it.

The research is now published online by PNAS.

The researchers, including first author Amanda Martyn, created a mouse line that doesn't have enough ACh being secreted by neurons in the same brain regions affected by Alzheimer's disease. They found this neurochemical failure caused problems with spatial memory, the stored information that is needed for navigating one's environment. For instance, the memory needed to drive across town. They also found the reduction of ACh led to hyperactivity, which many patients with Alzheimer's experience.

"Once we reproduced that neurochemical failure, we asked, 'how does that affect spatial memory, how does it affect learning?' We found mice that don't have that particular chemical messenger in specific areas of the brain, have problems with spatial memory, for example," says Marco Prado. "This reveals specific types of cognitive deficits that we can hope to improve with drugs that boost this chemical messenger."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. A. C. Martyn, X. De Jaeger, A. C. Magalhaes, R. Kesarwani, D. F. Goncalves, S. Raulic, M. S. Guzman, M. F. Jackson, I. Izquierdo, J. F. MacDonald, M. A. M. Prado, V. F. Prado. Elimination of the vesicular acetylcholine transporter in the forebrain causes hyperactivity and deficits in spatial memory and long-term potentiation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1215381109

Cite This Page:

University of Western Ontario. "More about spatial memory problems associated with Alzheimer's revealed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121010131538.htm>.
University of Western Ontario. (2012, October 10). More about spatial memory problems associated with Alzheimer's revealed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121010131538.htm
University of Western Ontario. "More about spatial memory problems associated with Alzheimer's revealed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121010131538.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

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