AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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Activity of Brain Proteins Associated with Memory Impairment in Alzheimer’s Identified

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A study recently conducted at the University of Haifa, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, identified activity of brain proteins associated with memory impairments in Alzheimer’s disease. “In the study we found that the nerve cells in the mouse models of Alzheimer’s face a type of metabolic stress. When a cell faces such metabolic stress, it is logical that it will reduce its activity level in order to survive. The problem is that this stress is chronic and leads to impairment of cognitive functioning,” said a research student who worked with study’s lead author. In recent years, most scientific research has focused on attempting to fight the disease after it has erupted, as well as on its pathology. However, it is well known that the disease is present in the brain years prior to symptom onset. In a previous study, researchers found a connection between abnormal activity of the elF2 protein, which is known to regulate the formation of new proteins needed for the creation of long-term memories, and mice that carried the human gene APOE4, which is known as a key risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer’s, the form that afflicts over 90 percent of Alzheimer’s patients around the world. In the present study, researchers came to an even deeper understanding of the abnormality of the process and, in particular, finds that “repairing” the process improves the ability to create new memories. To read more about this study, click here.

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