Protein Linked to Alzheimer’s Shows Potential to Improve Memory

Protein Linked to Alzheimer’s Shows Potential to Improve Memory
Researchers at the  the Salk Institute, in California, have shown, in a mouse study, that increasing the levels of a specific protein in the brain leads to improvement of memory deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The new study, titled “Neuregulin 1 Improves Cognitive Deficits And Neuropathology In An Alzheimer’s Disease Model,” was published in the journal Scientific Reports The protein, neuregulin-1, has several forms and functions in the brain, most of which are known to play an important role in many disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, autism, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and schizophrenia. Other studies have suggested that neuregulin-1 may exert a protective effect by inducing a decrease in the levels of amyloid precursor protein, a molecule that generates amyloid beta, which is the primary component of the plaques that accumulate in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, or by protecting neurons against the damage caused by blockage of blood flow. "Neuregulin-1 has broad therapeutic potential, but mechanistically, we are still learning about how it works," Kuo-Fen Lee, the lead author of the study, said in a news release. "We've shown that it promotes metabolism of the brain plaques that are characteristic of Alzheimer's disease." In this study, the team tested, in mice, the effect of increased levels of two forms of neuregulin-1, one at a time in the hippocampus, the brain region responsible for memory and learning. Researchers observed that both forms of neuregulin-1 were able to improve animal performan
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