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A*STAR scientists discover protein's role in human memory and learning functions
Date:2/19/2014

to the brain cell surface, lower levels of SNX27 means fewer receptors are carried to the surface, which consequently interrupts the signal transmission and impairs memory. This discovery was reported in the 24 January, 2014 issue of the renowned scientific journal, Nature Communications.

5. The correlation established between SNX27 levels and memory could explain why individuals with Down's syndrome encounter memory and learning difficulties. Identifying the target and its role is a crucial first step to therapy having known the role of SNX27 in memory impairment, future research on Down's syndrome could focus on developing strategies which can effectively re-introduce the protein into the brain to restore memory and learning abilities.

6. Dr Loo Li Shen was an A*STAR scholar who is now working with Executive Director of IMCB, Prof Wanjin Hong, and is also an adjunct Assistant Professor at LKC medical school of NTU. The lead author of the Nature Communications paper and co-author of the Nature Medicine paper said, "Memory and the ability to learn capture the essence of life. Our research goes beyond the lab to make a difference by finding ways to grant these fundamental capabilities to those diagnosed with Down's syndrome. Our ultimate goal is to create a positive impact on the lives of these valuable children."

7. Prof Hong added, "In IMCB, we conduct research that would contribute to our understanding of mankind. This is a good example where the study is directed at a human condition - the Down's syndrome. The knowledge established from the findings could potentially translate into treatments for Down's syndrome or even become applicable to other similar human conditions."


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Contact: Tan Yun Yun
tan_yun_yun@a-star.edu.sg
656-826-6273
Biomedical Sciences Institutes (BMSI)
Source:Eurekalert

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