Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease Appears to Be Linked to Certain Brain Receptor

Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease Appears to Be Linked to Certain Brain Receptor
A study from Tel Aviv University found that the IGF-1 receptor, associated with an increased lifespan in mice, is mediating hyperactivity in the hippocampus of the brain. Hippocampal hyperactivity is linked to conditions that increase the risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD), and the findings may pave the way for new AD treatments for early stages of the disease. The study was published in the journal Neuron under the title "Insulin-like growth factor linked to hippocampal hyperactivity in Alzheimer's disease." The hippocampus is a structure that handles memory processing, specifically spatial memory and the consolidation of short-term memory into long-term memories. An understanding of how memory storage processes work at a molecular level would also allow a deeper understanding of their failures, such as in AD and other forms of late-life dementia. The research team, led by Dr. Inna Slutsky, used cultured brain tissue and slices to study the information processes in the hippocampus on all levels, ranging from protein interactions over synapses and neuronal connections to the entire hippocampal network. Signaling in the hippocampus can be divided into a spontaneous mode of transmission and evoked by active nerve signaling, and the two signaling modes are often controlled by different factors. The team specifically wanted to know if IGF-1 receptors are involved in spontaneous synaptic signaling, and how they affect synaptic function in the hippocampus.

The researchers studied

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