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Lactate 'key in memory formation'

Lactate 'key in memory formation'
4th March 2011

Lactate plays a major role in the formation of memory, scientists have discovered, which could have a major impact on research into many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's.

The "energy fuel" has been found to play a key part in the formation of long-term memories, according to the research, published in journal Cell.

Lactate-producing astrocydes were revealed to be much more involved in memory formation than was previously thought, backing up a previous hypothesis that the lactate provides fuel to neurons and so increases in the brain during the forming of memories.

Researcher Dr Cristina Alberini said: "Now that we know that lactate has this critical function, we can study why it does and why glucose does not have the same impact."

Meanwhile, scientists at Tel Aviv University are developing a vaccine designed to round up "troops" from the body's immune system to repair the vascular damage in the brain, a major factor in Alzheimer's disease.

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