Possible memory breakthrough

29 Aug

A new paper by Eric Kandel and colleagues suggests a mechanism that might explain normal age related memory loss.

Eric Kandel, winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine, was the first scientist to demonstrate how memories are stored in the brain. His autobiography, In Search of Memory, provides a good introduction to modern memory neuroscience and insight into the life of this great scientist. I assign this book to my doctoral students, but it is a highly readable book that I often recommend to non-scientists.

In this new paper, Kandel and his colleagues report that levels of a protein, RbAp48, predict memory performance. Higher levels of RbAp48 are associated with better memory. RbAp48 declines with age and this may explain normal memory deterioration. It also provides a target for possible therapies.

Here is a journalist account of the research.

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