RSS Feed Print
Beta-arrestin and short-term memory-possible new drug
Posted: Friday, February 10, 2012 11:24 AM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

From Alzheimer's Daily News:

(Source: University of California, Riverside) - Scientists at the University of California, Riverside, have identified a new link between a protein called beta-arrestin and short-term memory that could open new doors for the therapeutic treatment of neurological disorders, particularly Alzheimer's disease.

Beta-arrestin is expressed in various cells of the body, including cells of the hippocampus, the region of the brain that is involved in learning and the formation of short-term memories. Beta-arrestin, the absence of which impairs normal learning in mice, is one of many "scaffolding proteins" - proteins that support the connections between neurons in the brain.

"In some pathological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, loss of the old synaptic connections far exceeds the formation of new ones, resulting in overall loss of synapses and short-term memory loss," said Iryna Ethell. "Our work, done on mice, shows that if beta-arrestin is removed from neurons, this loss of synapses is prevented. But we also know that beta-arrestin is required for normal learning and memory; so a fine balance needs to be established. This balance could be easily achieved by pharmaceutical drugs in the future."This is the first time researchers anywhere have linked beta-arrestin to Alzheimer's and learning/memory.

Go to full story: