Researchers have identified key molecules which help convert short-term memories into long-term memories. These findings may offer a target for medications, helping to alleviate some cognitive symptoms associated with illnesses such as schizophrenia
, depression, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
"There are many drugs available to treat some of the symptoms of diseases like schizophrenia," said Ted Abel, of the University of Pennsylvania, who worked on the study with lead scientist Joshua Hawk. "But they don't treat the cognitive deficits that patients have, which can include difficulties with memory. This study looks for more specific targets to treat deficits in cognition."
Nuclear receptors—proteins that can bind to DNA and control the activity of other genes—were the focus of the study for their transcription factor, which is essential for many biological functions including turning short-term into long-term memories.View Article