Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

UC Researching Into Severe Loss of Memory

UC Researching Into Severe Loss of Memory

May 8, 2013

Severe loss of everyday memory associated with brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases substantially impacts quality of life and is a major health issue in New Zealand.

The incidence of aging-related memory loss is a particular concern because the current 12 percent of people over 65 will burgeon to 25 percent within 30 years.

A University of Canterbury (UC) psychology researcher Dr Bruce Harland is seeking to identify whether these losses can be minimised or reversed.

``This is an important goal in neuroscience today. We want to sustain good health and wellbeing in our older population. Previous research in our laboratory was the first to demonstrate recovery of impaired memory in an animal model of injury to one part of the brain’s circuitry that enables the acquisition of everyday memory.

``This recovery was achieved using a non-pharmacological treatment, in which brain-injured rats exposed to a safe, but stimulating and varied “enriched environment” showed substantial improvement in memory. Brain-injured rats, living in standard conditions, showed only persisting impairments.

``My research, supervised by Professor John Dalrymple-Alford and Dr David Collings, was part of collaboration between two New Zealand, one United Kingdom, one US and three French research centres and was supported by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

``Our goal was to discover some of the neurobiological changes that accompany this rescued memory and provide a platform to establish effective treatments for humans with memory failure.

``My research showed that damage to one part of the memory circuit, a brain region called the anterior thalamus, resulted in a reduction of the structural complexity of brain cells in another memory region, called the hippocampus.

``Rescue of memory performance associated with stimulation was accompanied by a reversal of those structural changes. This finding suggests that memory loss associated with damage to one memory-related brain region may be alleviated by a drug treatment or therapy that targets a different part of the distributed memory system,’’ Harland says.

The study suggests that a treatment that combines social stimulation with opportunities for cognitive stimulation may help people with poor memory due to brain impairment.

Such factors may be helpful to promote better health in memory-impaired older people and initial studies are currently in progress to test this hypothesis, Harland says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Superu Report: Land Regulation Drives Auckland House Prices

Land use regulation is responsible for up to 56 per cent of the cost of an average house in Auckland according to a new research report quantifying the impact of land use regulations, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Fletcher Whittled: Fletcher Dumps Adamson In Face Of Dissatisfaction

Fletcher Building has taken the unusual step of dumping its chief executive, Mark Adamson, as the company slashed its full-year earnings guidance and flagged an impairment against Australian assets. More>>

ALSO:

No More Dog Docking: New Animal Welfare Regulations Progressed

“These 46 regulations include stock transport, farm husbandry, companion and working animals, pigs, layer hens and the way animals are accounted for in research, testing and teaching.” More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Most Kiwifruit Contractors Breaking Law

A Labour Inspectorate operation targeting the kiwifruit industry in Bay of Plenty has found the majority of labour hire contractors are breaching their obligations as employers. More>>

ALSO:

'Work Experience': Welfare Group Opposes The Warehouse Workfare

“This programme is about exploiting unemployed youth, not teaching them skills. The government are subsidising the Warehouse in the name of reducing benefit dependency,” says Vanessa Cole, spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty. More>>

ALSO:

Internet Taxes: Labour To Target $600M In Unpaid Taxes From Multinationals

The Labour Party would target multinationals operating in New Zealand to ensure they don't avoid paying tax if it wins power and is targeting $600 million over three years through a "diverted profits tax," says leader Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO: