News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Researchers investigate impact of brain protein on memory

Canterbury researchers investigating impact of brain protein on memory loss

July 18, 2014

University of Canterbury researchers are investigating a brain protein which may impact on the memory of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Memory problems are common in many diseases of the brain and they are the hallmark of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

More than 48,000 New Zealanders had dementia in 2011 and the number is expected to triple by 2050. The financial cost of treating dementia in New Zealand in 2011 was $954 million. University of Canterbury PhD researcher Susan Rapley says there is no effective treatment for memory loss for those with Alzheimer’s.

“This is partly because we need to know more about how molecular problems in the brain link up with the memory symptoms. A better understanding of what is happening within the brain, especially in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, will help guide new treatment options. Currently, there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s.

“Our research group is looking at the brain protein called C-type Natriuretic Peptide, or CNP, because we think it may have a role in affecting a person’s memory. We do know that CNP is produced in key regions of the brain strongly associated with memory, but do not know specifically what function it serves.

“Before we can investigate CNP in Alzheimer’s disease, we need to determine its involvement with memory. We are investigating this by measuring CNP in the brain when memory is either stimulated or interfered with. If CNP changes in the brain according to changes in memory, this would suggest it is an important part of the biological processes of memory formation.

“So far, our results show that CNP increases in the brain’s memory network during learning conditions. This appears to be due to a change in the way CNP is metabolised.

“This suggests we may be on the right track. If CNP does turn out to be involved in memory, this might stimulate future research into the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases with similar memory problems.”

Rapley was a co-winner in the university’s annual Tweet your Thesis event. Students who entered were allowed only six tweets to describe their thesis work in less than 840 characters.

Her project is being supervised by University of Canterbury’s psychology professor John Dalrymple-Alford.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: The Magic Flute - Magic Moments

Max Rashbrooke: Mozart’s The Magic Flute is an extraordinary tale, blending a story of great solemnity, of elegant music and Masonic virtue overcoming hatred and discord, with elements of extreme silliness and pure fantasy. .. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: ‘Lovely Swans Of Art’

On Cillia McQueen's 'In a Slant Light': Diary-keeping forms the basis of much of this memoir – as with earlier poems – and we are led gracefully through the waves of her life as she sails through both rough and smooth waters. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: From Here And There

Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story
by Helene Wong.
This is the fascinating story of Helene Wong, born in 1949 in Taihape to Chinese parents: her mother, born soon after her parents migrated here, and her father, born in China but sent to relatives in Taihape at seven to get an education in English. More>>

Chiku: Hamilton Zoo's Baby Chimpanzee Named

Hamilton Zoo has named its three-month-old baby chimpanzee after a month-long public naming competition through the popular zoo’s website. The name chosen is Chiku, a Swahili name for girls meaning "talker" or "one who chatters". More>>

Game Over: Trans-Tasman Netball League To Discontinue

Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have confirmed that the existing ANZ Championship format will discontinue after the current 2016 season, with both organisations to form national netball leagues in their respective countries. More>>

NZSO Review: Stephen Hough Is Perfection-Plus

He took risks, and leant into the music when required. But you also felt that every moment of his playing made sense in the wider picture of the piece. Playing alongside him, the NZSO were wonderful as ever, and their guest conductor, Gustavo Gimeno, coaxed from them a slightly darker, edgier sound than I’m used to hearing. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: King Lear At Circa

In order to celebrate it's 40th birthday, it is perhaps fitting that Circa Theatre should pick a production of 'King Lear,' since it's also somewhat fortuitously Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. If some of the more cerebral poetry is lost in Michael Hurst's streamlined, full throttle production, it's more than made up for by plenty of lascivious violence designed to entertain the groundlings. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news