Apr 272008

Scientists at Bristol University have taken a major step forward in understanding how our memory works, a breakthrough, which they claim could help in restoring the brain in Alzheimer’s patients in future.

In their experiment, they have been able to prevent visual recognition memory in laboratory rodents by blocking certain mechanisms that control the way the nerve cells in the brain communicate, Health news reported.

According to the scientists, this demonstrates that cellular and molecular mechanisms in the brain have been identified, which may provide a key to understanding the processes of recognition memory.

“This is a major step forward in our understanding of recognition memory. We’ve been able to show that key processes controlling synaptic communication are also vital in learning and memory,” researcher said.

Added co-researcher Dr Sarah Griffiths, “Nerve cells in the perirhinal cortex of brain are known to be vital for visual recognition memory. Using a combination of biological techniques and behavioural testing, we examined whether the mechanisms involved in synaptic plasticity are also vital for visual recognition memory.”

This shows such memory relies on specific molecular processes in the brain. “The next step is to try to understand the processes that enable visual memories to be held in our brains for such long periods of time and why these mechanisms begin to breakdown in old age,” researchers said.

The News

 Posted by at 8:54 am

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