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US research team make new memory findings

US research team make new memory findings
24th April 2008

Researchers at a US institution have made a new finding which shows how memory is stored and could have implications for Alzheimer's patients.

A team from Wake Forest University School of Medicine has highlighted that that the location of protein destroying "machines" known as proteasomes found within nerve cells in the brain could play an important role in memory formation.

"We hope to exploit this finding to manipulate memory and find ways to make it better," said Ashok Hegde, associate professor of neurolobiology and anatomy.

"Our goal is to develop a new strategy for treating memory loss."

Initial tests conducted on mice have allowed the team to establish that the connections between nerve cells play an important part in memories and in the future they hope to examine the affect of altering the strength of these connections.

This follows news from the Oregon Health and Science University that having a larger than average part of the brain known as the hippocampus, which encodes long-term memory and emotions, could lower an individual's risk of sustaining memory loss and brain malfunction related to Alzheimer's disease.

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