Navigation Links
How memory and schizophrenia are connected
Date:2/13/2014

Many psychiatric disorders are accompanied by memory deficits. Basel scientists have now identified a network of genes that controls fundamental properties of neurons and is important for human brain activity, memory and the development of schizophrenia. Their results have been published in the online edition of the US journal Neuron.

The ability to hold transitory information - e.g. memorizing a telephone number - is a fundamental function of the human brain. This so-called working memory enables us to understand the world that surrounds us. To keep the working memory running, our brain uses a lot of energy, however, in many psychiatric disorders working memory is disturbed. Scientists of the Transfaculty Research Platform "Molecular and Cognitive Neurosciences" (MCN) at the University of Basel and the Psychiatric University Clinics have now described a network of genes that controls fundamental properties of neurons and is related to working memory, brain activity and schizophrenia.

Ion channels as key players

In the current study, Angela Heck analyzed the genetic basis of working memory in over 2800 healthy participants across different age groups. She then used bioinformatics methods in order to identify biologically meaningful groups of genes. The analysis revealed that one group of genes, the group of voltage-gated ion channels, was of particular relevance. These molecules are regulating a very basic property of neurons: their electric excitability. The same method was also applied to a population of over 32.000 participants, made up of both patients suffering from schizophrenia and healthy participants. Again, the ion channels belonged to the gene group with the strongest genome-wide effects.

In a further step, Matthias Fastenrath studied the brain activity of 700 healthy participants via functional imaging while they were were solving working memory tasks. The group of genes of the ion channels correlated strongly with the activity of two brain regions in the cerebrum and the cerebellum. Earlier studies have shown that these two brain regions are important for a functioning working memory. Molecules regulating the electric excitability of neurons are thus important for human working memory and neural processes of defined regions. Malfunctions of this mechanism may also contribute to the development of schizophrenia.

Starting point for drug development

The results of this study contribute to the understanding of the molecular basis of memory processes and psychiatric disorders. The findings provide a good starting point for the development of drugs aimed at treating memory-related and psychiatric disorders. The Transfaculty Research Platform MCN is a joint endeavor of the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Basel and the Psychiatric University Clinics. Its goal is to advance research on the neurobiological underpinnings of human emotional and cognitive processes and to contribute to the development of novel treatment options for neuropsychiatric disorders. Human genetics and functional imaging are the methodological backbone of MCN's research. The platform is jointly led by Prof. Dominique de Quervain and Prof. Andreas Papassotiropoulos.


'/>"/>

Contact: Olivia Poisson
olivia.poisson@unibas.ch
University of Basel
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. How marijuana impairs memory
2. Large international study finds memory in adults impacted by versions of 4 genes
3. Researchers discover potential explanation for why a diet high in DHA improves memory
4. Brainy beverage: Study reveals how green tea boosts brain cell production to aid memory
5. Pollen cells keep memory to control jumping genes
6. Omega-3 intake heightens working memory in healthy young adults
7. In-sync brain waves hold memory of objects just seen
8. Promising compound restores memory loss and reverses symptoms of Alzheimers
9. Scientists uncover previously unknown mechanism of memory formation
10. Finding the way to memory
11. IU discovery on animal memory opens doors to research on memory impairment diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
How memory and schizophrenia are connected
(Date:4/19/2017)... York , April 19, 2017 ... as its vendor landscape is marked by the presence ... market is however held by five major players - ... Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of the ... the leading companies in the global military biometrics market ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event ... emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and ... alongside the expo portion of the event and feature ... focused on trending topics within 3D printing and smart ... event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... DUBLIN , Apr. 11, 2017 Research ... Tracking Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at ... The report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based ... report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... the adulterants which pose the most likely threat to their products at the ... year. , IFT's annual food expo attracts over 20,000 attendees representing food ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... As Vice President, ... products including training, implementation, support, and client process and SOP development. , Mr. ... previously held leadership roles for service providers and top-tier pharmaceuticals, and as an ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... Cambridge Semantics , the leading ... Smart Data Lake® (Anzo SDL) solution was named a finalist in the ... Information Industry Association (SIIA) CODiE Awards. , Finalists represent the best products, ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... , ... June 15, 2017 , ... ... a promising new medical device startup. Dan Parsley, angelMD’s SVP of Corporate Development, ... members, and this angelMD syndicate is part of Saranas’ recently announced $4 million ...
Breaking Biology Technology: