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

 

Tourism: China Southern Airlines To Fly To Christchurch

China Southern Airlines, in partnership with Christchurch Airport and the South Island tourism industry, has announced today it will begin flying directly between Guangzhou, Mainland China and the South Island. More>>

ALSO:

Dodgy: Truck Shops Come Under Scrutiny

Mobile traders, or truck shops, target poorer communities, particularly in Auckland, with non-compliant contracts, steep prices and often lower-quality goods than can be bought at ordinary shops, a Commerce Commission investigation has found. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Transport: Government, Council Agree On Funding Approach

The government and Auckland Council have reached a detente over transport funding, establishing a one-year, collaborative timetable for decisions on funding for the city's transport infrastructure growth in the next 30 years after the government refused to fund the $2 billion of short and medium-term plans outlined in Auckland's draft Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

Bullish On China Shock: Slumping Equities, Commodities May Continue, But Not A GFC

The biggest selloff in stock markets in at least four years, slumping commodity prices and a surge in Wall Street's fear gauge don't mean the world economy is heading for another global financial crisis, fund managers say. More>>

ALSO:

Real Estate: Investors Driving Up Auckland Housing Risk - RBNZ

The growing presence of investors in Auckland's property market is increasing the risks, and is likely to both amplify the housing cycle and worsen the potential damage from a downturn both to the financial system and the broader economy, said Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer. More>>

ALSO:

Annual Record: Overseas Visitors Hit 3 Million Milestone

Visitor arrivals to New Zealand surpassed 3 million for the first time in the July 2015 year, Statistics New Zealand said today. The record-breaking 3,002,982 visitors this year was 7 percent higher than the July 2014 year. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news