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Unlocking the mysteries of memory -- and potentially enhancing it

Date:
September 27, 2017
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Memory acts like an anchor, reminding us of past experiences that have made us who we are today. Attempts to boost it, particularly as we age, have sprouted cottage industries of supplements and brain games. In parallel, researchers have been pursuing pharmaceutical interventions. In some of the latest work on this front, one team reports that they have identified a novel compound that enhances long-term memory in animal studies.
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Memory acts like an anchor, reminding us of past experiences that have made us who we are today. Attempts to boost it, particularly as we age, have sprouted cottage industries of supplements and brain games. In parallel, researchers have been pursuing pharmaceutical interventions. In some of the latest work on this front, one team reports in ACS Chemical Neuroscience that they have identified a novel compound that enhances long-term memory in animal studies.  

In the past two decades, scientists have discovered key molecular paths that can lead to the formation of long-term memories in fruit flies, mice and rats. For example, the activation of a particular protein called CREB -- which stands for "cAMP response element binding" -- is required to stow memories for the long term. Building on this finding, Alan P. Kaplan and colleagues have been working to find compounds that help spur CREB into action.  

The researchers screened thousands of small molecules for potential drug candidates that activate CREB and found a compound called HT-0411 that was promising. Further testing showed that HT-0411 doesn't directly activate CREB. It does so indirectly by inhibiting the enzyme monoamine oxidase B, which modulates dopamine and ultimately leads to CREB-mediated gene expression. The researchers then tweaked parts of that compound's structure and administered it to mice and rats. In memory tests, the animals that received the candidate molecule scored much higher than the control group, and they showed no signs of behavioral side effects such as changes in anxiety levels.  


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Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alan P. Kaplan, Terence Keenan, Roderick Scott, Xianbo Zhou, Rusiko Bourchouladze, Andrew J. McRiner, Mark E. Wilson, Darlene Romashko, Regina Miller, Matthew Bletsch, Gary Anderson, Jennifer Stanley, Adia Zhang, Dong Lee, John Nikpur. Identification of 5-(1-Methyl-5-(trifluoromethyl)-1H-pyrazol-3-yl)thiophene-2-Carboxamides as Novel and Selective Monoamine Oxidase B Inhibitors Used to Improve Memory and Cognition. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 2017; DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.7b00282

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American Chemical Society. "Unlocking the mysteries of memory -- and potentially enhancing it." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170927123604.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2017, September 27). Unlocking the mysteries of memory -- and potentially enhancing it. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170927123604.htm
American Chemical Society. "Unlocking the mysteries of memory -- and potentially enhancing it." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170927123604.htm (accessed March 2, 2024).

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