Memories Are Made of This

The function of an 1) ___ in the brain, strongly linked to a number of major brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder, has been identified for the first time. These findings, published in the March edition of the journal Neuron, should help in the understanding of how 2) ___ are laid down and what goes wrong in these disorders. The research shows how controlling the activity of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) might prevent a memory being 3) ___ by improving the strength of connections between neurons in the brain, thus allowing better consolidation of new information. While GSK3 has previously been implicated in major 4) ___ disorders, until now its role in normal neuronal function has been largely unknown. This new understanding will help 5) ___ companies develop drugs to inhibit it when things go wrong. The activity of GSK3 facilitates a form of ‘cross-talk’ between the two major forms of synaptic plasticity in the 6) ___. Synaptic plasticity is the strength of a connection between neurons and forms the basis of 7) ___ and memory.

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