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Neuroscientists discover long-term potentiation in the olfactory bulb
Date:5/3/2009

ved changes in the olfactory bulb. Strowbridge and Gao discovered that certain olfactory brain circuits can change with experience. This discovery provides a possible explanation for how animals can form memories of particular scents.

In 2006, Strowbridge's grouped discovered a new type of brain cell, the Blanes cell, in the olfactory bulb, also using the same home-built 2-photon microscope. Ramn y Cajal, an important Spanish anatomist, had drawn pictures of these cells and named them for one of his medical students in the late 1800s. They stayed a curiosity item in very old textbooks until Strowbridge's laboratory found that they represented a very important cell type in the brain. Using 2-photon imaging, the CWRU group showed that Blanes cells have unusual properties that may help the brain maintain memories of smells and also opened a new approach to understanding the basis of memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease. That study was published in the March 16, 2006 issue of the journal Neuron.

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. The 2-photon laser microscope used in the study was constructed with support from the Mount Sinai Health Care Foundation.


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Contact: Christina DeAngelis
christinadeangelis@case.edu
216-368-3635
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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