Scientists have found that an important molecular change occurs in the brain when we learn and remember.
Researchers found that learning stimulates our brain cells in a manner that causes a small fatty acid to attach to delta-catenin, a protein in the brain.
This biochemical modification is essential in producing the changes in brain cell connectivity associated with learning.
The findings may provide an explanation for some mental disabilities, researchers said.
In animal models, the scientists found almost twice the amount of modified delta-catenin in the brain after learning about new environments.
- Soon You Could Get Plastic Currency Notes: Find Out More
- Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor Starrer Befikre Gets A Thumbs Up
- Supreme Court Seeks Centre’s Response Over Various Issues Regarding Demonetisation
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Writes To West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
- Bigg Boss 10 December 8 Review: Swami Om Feels Cheated, lashes Out At Gaurav For Jail Punishment
- South Korean President Park Geun-Hye Impeached Over Corruption Scandal
- Former Air Chief SP Tyagi Arrested In VVIP Chopper Scam
- After Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Liquor Baron Vijay Mallya’s Twitter Account Hacked
- Find Out What PM Narendra Modi Told Cabinet Over Demonetisation Decision
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh Assures Safety Of All Tourists Stranded On Havelock Island
- Government To Waive Service Tax On Debit, Credit Card Transactions Of Up To Rs 2,000
- President Pranab Mukherjee Criticises Parliament Disruptions Over Demonetisation
- Pakistan International Airlines Flight Carrying Over 40 Passenger On Board Crashes
- Shah Rukh Khan On Raees Clash With Kaabil: It’s Impossible To Have A Solo Release In India
- US-President Elect Donald Trump Named TIME’s Person Of The Year 2016
While delta-catenin has previously been linked to learning, this study is the first to describe the protein’s role in the molecular mechanism behind memory formation.
“More work is needed, but this discovery gives us a much better understanding of the tools our brains use to learn and remember, and provides insight into how these processes become disrupted in neurological diseases,” said co-author Shernaz Bamji, an associate professor in University of British Columbia’s Life Sciences Institute.
Disruption of the delta-catenin gene has been observed in some patients with schizophrenia, researchers said.
“Brain activity can change both the structure of this protein, as well as its function,” said Stefano Brigidi, first author of the article and a PHD candidate Bamji’s laboratory.
“When we introduced a mutation that blocked the biochemical modification that occurs in healthy subjects, we abolished the structural changes in brain’s cells that are known to be important for memory formation,” Brigidi said.
The study is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.