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Hormone May Play Key Part in Creating Memories
Date:10/4/2007

ndings are published in the Oct. 5 issue of Cell.

Malinow thinks this finding could lead to new treatments for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

"It is interesting to find out at the molecular level what emotion is doing," Malinow said. "But there are certain diseases like post-traumatic stress disorder for which we might find targets that have therapeutic benefit. These findings will enhance our knowledge of all diseases that deal with memory."

One expert see this study as an extension of similar work that showed that norepinephrine is involved in the memory of fearful events that can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.

"In our own work, we have demonstrated that norepinephrine controls the ability of synapses in inputs to the amygdala implicated in cued fear conditioning to undergo long-term potentiation," said Vadim Bolshakov, director of McLean Hospital's Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, in Belmont, Mass. "This new study complements our work in emphasizing the role of norepinephrine release in the brain in learning and memory mechanisms."

The new research focuses on a different form of learning, Bolshakov said. "The new study nicely demonstrated that norepinephrine enhances a form of learning by facilitating synapses in a region of the hippocampus," he said.

More information

For more on memory, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: Roberto Malinow, M.D., Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York; Vadim Bolshakov, Ph.D., director, Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass.; Oct. 5, 2007, Cell


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