A protein may help fight Alzheimer's
Posted: January 27, 2011 11:21 PM PST
SCIENCE - It seems to directly affect our memory ...
Why do some memories remain etched in our brain for life while others disappear almost instantly? It seems that a protein called IGF-II (Insulin Growth Factor II) plays a key role, according to a study published Thursday in Nature magazine.
According to scientists from the School of Medicine Mount Sinai New York, this molecule, particularly involved in cell growth, can "boost" our cognitive abilities such as memory.
Potentially harmful side effects
The researchers "trained" rats so that they avoid a dark area of their cage, via a slight electric shock. Depending on the dose of IGF-II received some animals avoided the danger zone for a long time, while others are returned immediately.
"It's very exciting," enthuses Li-Huei Tsai at MIT, who co-driven study. But she warns, the protein "may accelerate the growth of cancerous cells." On public radio NPR, she explained Wednesday hoped that "nobody injected" directly in humans.
Still, this discovery could, she said, opening the way to treatments for diseases that affect memory, like Alzheimer's. Of victims of severe trauma may also benefit from advances in the field.
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