Researchers have discovered a brand new mechanism that controls the way nerve cells in our brain communicate with each other to regulate learning and long-term memory.
The fact that a new brain mechanism has been hiding in plain sight is a reminder of how much we have yet to learn about how the human brain works, and what goes wrong in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and epilepsy.
Until now, one of the best known mechanisms to increase the strength of information flow across synapses was known as LTP, or long-term potentiation.
But now the UK team has discovered a brand new type of LTP that’s regulated in an entirely different way…This means we’ve now uncovered a previously unexplored mechanism that could control learning and memory.
“Untangling the interactions between the signal receptors in the brain not only tells us more about the inner workings of a healthy brain, but also provides a practical insight into what happens when we form new memories,” said one of the researchers, Milos Petrovic from the University of Central Lancashire.
[The study can be found here.]
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