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

 
Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: The Stolen Island: Searching for ‘Ata by Scott Hamilton

Reviewed by Michael Horowitz
Located even further south than temperate Noumea, Tonga’s tiny island of ‘Ata might have become the jewel of the kingdom’s burgeoning tourist industry. Imagine a Tongan resort that would not only be mild in winter, but pleasant in summer. More>>

Reviewed by Michael Horowitz
Located even further south than temperate Noumea, Tonga’s tiny island of ‘Ata might have become the jewel of the kingdom’s burgeoning tourist industry. Imagine a Tongan resort that would not only be mild in winter, but pleasant in summer. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Pretence. No Bullshit. Fine Poem.

John Dickson doesn’t publish much; never has. Indeed, this new collection is his first such in 18 years. As he wryly and dryly states,

I’ve published two slim volumes, and spent all
My time working on the next.
(from Wasp p.67) More>>

Scoop Review of Books: Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays On Place From Aotearoa NZ

The New Zealand landscape undoubtedly is very beautiful, but so is the British one, and my attachment to this country is much more about some particular places, and the memories and emotions that in them combine, than it is about the landscape as a whole. More>>

Canonisation Fodder: Suzanne Aubert Declared ‘Venerable’

Suzanne Aubert, the founder of the Sisters of Compassion New Zealand’s home grown order of Sisters, has been declared ‘venerable’, a major milestone on the path to sainthood in the Catholic Church. More>>

“I Have Not Performed Well Enough”: Ernie Merrick Leaving Wellington Phoenix

Ernie Merrick has stepped down from his position as Wellington Phoenix FC Head Coach. The club would like to thank Ernie for his contribution to Wellington Phoenix and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. More>>

Ray Columbus: NZ Music Icon Passes Away

60s New Zealand music Icon Ray Columbus has passed away peacefully at his home north of Auckland... Ray Columbus enjoyed more than three decades at the top of NZ entertainment as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, music manager and TV star. More>>

Review: Bernard Herrmann's Scores For 'Vertigo' & 'Psycho'

Howard Davis: The NZSO's adventurousness was richly-rewarded, as the deeply appreciative Wellington audience was given the opportunity not only to see a couple of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, but also to hear fine renditions of two of Bernard Herrmann's most accomplished film scores. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news