Navigation Links
Why you remember names and ski slopes

CHICAGO --- When you meet your boss's husband, Harvey, at the office holiday party, then bump into him an hour later over the onion dip, will you remember his name?

Yes, thanks to a nifty protein in your brain called kalirin-7.

Researchers at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine have discovered the brain protein kalirin is critical for helping you learn and remember what you learned.

Previous studies by other researchers found that kalirin levels are reduced in brains of people with diseases like Alzheimer's and schizophrenia. Thus, the discovery of kalirin's role in learning offers new insight into the pathophysiology of these disorders.

"Identifying the key role of this protein in learning and memory makes it a new target for future drug therapy to treat or delay the progression of these diseases," said Peter Penzes, lead author of the study and assistant professor of physiology at the Feinberg School. Penzes studied the brains of laboratory rats which are similar to human brains.

The study will be published November 21 in the journal Neuron.

Kalirin behaves like a personal trainer for your memory. When you learn something new, kalirin bulks up the synaptic spines in your brain -- which resemble tiny, white mushrooms. The spines grow bigger and stronger the more you repeat the lesson. It works the same whether you're learning a new cell phone number, skiing a new double black diamond slope or testing a pumpkin cheesecake recipe.

Synaptic spines are the sites in the brain where neurons (brain cells) talk to each other. "If these sites are bigger, the communication is better," Penzes said. "A synapse is like a volume dial between two cells. If you turn up the volume, communication is better. Kalirin makes the synaptic spines grow."

Kalirin's role in learning and memory help explain why continued intellectual activity and learning delays cognitive decline as people grow older. "It's important to keep learning so your synapses stay healthy," Penzes said.


Contact: Marla Paul
Northwestern University

Related medicine news :

1. Alzheimers Foundation of America to Display Quilt to Remember in Los Angeles
2. ResMed Names Kieran Gallahue as Chief Executive Officer, Effective January 1, 2008.
3. Mediware Names Thomas K. Mann Chief Executive Officer
4. Cleveland-based Health Care Tech Company Within3 Names New CEO
5. STERIS Corporation Board of Directors Names Walter M. Rosebrough Jr. President and Chief Executive Officer
6. Patient Safety Authority Board of Directors Names Infection Advisory Panel
7. Hooper Holmes Names Chris Behling President of Health & Wellness Division
8. MDMA Names New Director of Federal Affairs
9. Milestone Scientific Names Robert Presutti New Vice President of Sales and Marketing
10. Acuo Technologies(R) Names Mike Dolan Vice President of Sales
11. MAKO Surgical Corp. Names Frederic H. Moll, M.D. to Board of Directors
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ActivePDF, a leading provider of ... to batch conversions of CAD drawings, plans, and diagrams to PDF that ... eliminates the complexity requirement of specialized applications to view CAD designs. Converting to ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... world’s first commercially-available next-generation sequencing laboratory test for bacterial vaginosis- a significant ... Obstetrics in Vancouver, BC, Canada. , In a presentation entitled: "The ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... its biannual Heroes in Recovery Awards at Foundations Recovery Network’s Moments of Change ... presented the one-of-a-kind awards to Noah Levine and Dean Dauphinais who exemplify the ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... ... article published October 6th by the Herald Tribune, a recent study that compared ... 1988 has shown that it really is more difficult to lose weight these days. Specifically, ... 1971 would be on average 10 pounds heavier than their past counterpart. In terms of ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... ... Amerec , a leader in the steam and sauna industry, and ... displaying custom sauna and steam room solutions at the ISPA Conference & Expo in ... SpaEquip is recognized for their ability to assist in the design and implementation of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... Paul, Minn. , Oct. 12, 2015 ... it, a need to help integrate these devices into ... leader of ergonomic healthcare mounting and mobility solutions, has ... its lightest cart yet, for a wide array of ... S-Tablet Cart SV10 was developed exclusively for Microsoft Surface ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015  Today, Divurgent is honored ... Advisory Services. As a former CIO, Paul brings 15 years ... just understand or sympathize with today,s CIOs, he is one. ... same challenges Paul has faced, and his new role with ... ensuring technology efficiencies across an organization. ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015   Royal Philips ... digitization of pathology, today announced a collaboration with ... world leading provider of genomic-based diagnostic tests, to leverage ... up of its molecular diagnostic testing processes.    ... the examination of patient tissue samples and plays a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: