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

 

Snell Sale Peters Out: Singlet Withdrawn From Sale

“We believe the item was offered for sale in good faith, but our inquiries have shown that the singlet is not the one worn by Peter Snell at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.” More>>

ALSO:

Bodega: Venue Closing At The End Of The Year, After 25 Years Of Music

"It is with considerable sadness that, for reasons beyond our control, we regret to announce the closure of Bodega’s doors at the end of this year, after 25 years of faithful and committed service to live music in Wellington." More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Women At The Centre

In the first chapter of her epic History of New Zealand Women, Barbara Brookes places a version of the Māori creation story alongside that of the Pākehā colonists, setting the scene for how each society saw women. The contrast is startling. More>>

In Auckland Art Gallery: A Tour Of Duty

I had already started my journey through the exhibited collections when an audio announcement about a guided tour to embark shortly from the foyer was made, I decided to join in. Why not? More>>

Art: ‘Holiday’ Wins IHC Art Awards

An intricate embroidered cushion by Wellington artist Jo-Anne Tapiki has won the 2016 IHC Art Awards and $5000. Jo-Anne started working from IHC’s Arts on High studio in Lower Hutt 18 months ago and this is the first time she has entered the competition. More>>

‘Quasi’: Christchurch Art Gallery Reveals Rooftop Sculpture

Christchurch-born and internationally renowned artist Ronnie van Hout has had a huge hand in Christchurch Art Gallery's latest outdoor installation. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news