Scientists Identify 'memory' Molecule

LEICESTER, England, June 28 (UPI) — Researchers in Britain say they’ve discovered a molecular key to how the human brain learns, and how it records and saves memories.

Scientists at the University of Leicester have identified the chemical mechanism by which memories are formed, a university release said Monday.

A key protein is involved in the brain’s process of creating and retaining memories, Andrew Tobin, a professor of cell biology, said.

“This protein is present in the part of the brain in which memories are stored,” Tobin said. “We have found that in order for any memory to be laid down this protein, called the M3-muscarinic receptor, has to be activated.”

The finding could have important implications for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Tobin said.

Since one of the major symptoms of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, he said, drugs designed to target the protein identified in the study could lead to treatment options for the disease.

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