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Memory Protein Fades With Age
Science Magazine ^ | 2013-08-28 18:00 | Amanda Mascarelli

Posted on 08/29/2013 10:58:26 AM PDT by Red Badger

It’s an inconvenient truth of aging: In our 30s and up, it gets increasingly harder for most of us to recall names, faces, and details from the past. Scientists have long debated whether this gradual decline is an early form of Alzheimer’s disease—a neurodegenerative condition that leads to severe dementia—or a distinct neurological process. Now, researchers have found a protein that distinguishes typical forgetfulness from Alzheimer’s and could lead to potential treatments for age-related memory loss.

Previous studies have shown that Alzheimer’s disease and age-related memory loss involve different neural circuits in the hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structure in the brain where memories are formed and organized. The hallmark signs of Alzheimer’s disease are well established—tangled proteins and plaques accumulate over time, and brain tissue atrophies. But little is known about what occurs when memory declines during normal aging, except that brain cells begin to malfunction, says Scott Small, a neurologist at Columbia University and senior author to the study. “At the molecular level, there’s been a lot of uncertainty about what is actually going wrong, and that’s what this paper isolates.”

To tease apart the biological processes involved in memory loss in normal aging, Small and other researchers from Columbia University in New York examined postmortem brain tissue from eight healthy people ranging in age from 33 to 86. They looked for differences in gene expression—the proteins or other products that a gene makes—between younger and older people. They also looked for age-related changes in the brains of mice.

One gene in particular reduced its expression by about 50% with age in both human tissue and in rodents, the researchers report today in Science Translational Medicine. The gene codes for a protein called RbAp48 that regulates gene expression in a part of the hippocampus, called the dentate gyrus, which has been implicated in normal memory loss. A separate region of the hippocampus known to be the point of onset for Alzheimer's disease showed no differences in expression of the age-related gene.

Next, the team tested whether the steep decline in the production of RbAp48 could play a role in the memory loss associated with aging. In young mice bred to inhibit production of the RbAp48 protein, the researchers were able to show cognitive deficits that they say resemble those seen in older mice and elderly humans, such as difficulty recognizing objects and navigation.

Finally, the team showed that by increasing the level of RbAp48 in old mice, they could restore memory function to levels similar to that of young mice.

The new study demonstrates that “this molecular deficiency that we observe in humans truly contributes to age-related memory loss,” Small says. The researchers aren’t entirely sure what role RbAp48 plays in memory, but Small suspects that it is key to the successful functioning of synapses—bridges between nerve cells that transmit chemical and electrical signals, facilitating learning and memory. Why the protein declines with age is still a mystery, he says.

So far, physical exercise is one treatment that has been shown to improve the function of the dentate gyrus and to slow memory loss from aging, Small says. The new study points the way toward therapeutic targets that might one day help turn back the clock on the memory loss, he says.

The new study is “very impressive” and an important piece of the puzzle in understanding the molecular mechanisms of age-related memory loss, says Molly Wagster, chief of the Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience Branch at the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, Maryland. But she cautions that it involved a limited number of brain tissues and focused solely on one brain region, noting that other brain regions could also play an important role in age-related memory decline. Further efforts will be needed to see if what the group has seen in rodents translates to humans, she says.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; Science
KEYWORDS: alzheimers; brain; dementia; memory; memoryloss; memoryprotein

1 posted on 08/29/2013 10:58:27 AM PDT by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

Don’t be ridiculous. I’m 60 and I can remember everything I ever...uh...what was the question again?


2 posted on 08/29/2013 11:00:47 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Red Badger

What did you say?


3 posted on 08/29/2013 11:00:50 AM PDT by freeagle
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To: Red Badger

I’d be happier if I could replace that “protein” by eating it instead of exercising. :)


4 posted on 08/29/2013 11:02:42 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: Red Badger

A protein. I wonder if that means a protein supplement will be useful...

Protein means eating animals. I’m for it.


5 posted on 08/29/2013 11:04:07 AM PDT by Old Sarge (Opinions are like orgasms: only mine count, and I couldn't care less if you have one...)
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To: freeangel

I expect that as a result of this study there will be tons of radio and TV ads blathering on about their ‘new’ product that has oodles of this protein for your consumption..............


6 posted on 08/29/2013 11:05:28 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: Old Sarge

7 posted on 08/29/2013 11:06:12 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: Red Badger

I’m 61 and remember my first day of kindergarten but I can’t seem to locate my keys.


8 posted on 08/29/2013 11:06:13 AM PDT by dainbramaged (Joe McCarthy was right.)
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To: Red Badger

What was I going to write?


9 posted on 08/29/2013 11:06:33 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Don't blame me for McCain.)
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To: dainbramaged

I remember mine, too, but I can’t find my glasses............oh, they’re on top of my head!.................


10 posted on 08/29/2013 11:07:31 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: Red Badger

Ormus stops it.


11 posted on 08/29/2013 11:09:14 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I'm a Conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: Red Badger

I never claimed to have “photographic” memory, but I’ve always had an ability to remember just about everything I’ve read, and most of what I’ve seen and heard. My friends are astounded with my ability to recall details of seemingly insignificant events from 30 years ago. I can still remember the Chicago Cubs roster and lineup from 1984, and most of the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl XII championship roster.

However, at age 53, I am noticing that while my long term memory of those long ago events remains pretty much intact, my ability to process short-term memory into long term memory has declined. Not much, but it is noticeable.


12 posted on 08/29/2013 11:12:15 AM PDT by henkster (If the Feds create an unlimited demand for bastard children, you get an unlimited supply of them.)
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To: Red Badger

I can remember anything...even if it didn’t happen.


13 posted on 08/29/2013 11:15:45 AM PDT by Bobalu (Bobo the Wonder Marxist leads Operation Rodeo Clown against Syria)
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To: Red Badger

It seems to me that, uh. I’ll have to get back to you.


14 posted on 08/29/2013 11:16:00 AM PDT by Gamecock (Many Atheists take the stand: "There is no God AND I hate Him.")
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To: henkster

Those things that interested you from long ago were permanently stored, and strongly so. Those bonds will fade over time as well, but will take longer to do so.

Short-term memory fades quicker because the necessary protein is less abundant to facilitate it............


15 posted on 08/29/2013 11:16:05 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Ormus or IMUS?................


16 posted on 08/29/2013 11:16:43 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: Red Badger

Ormus.


17 posted on 08/29/2013 11:17:07 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I'm a Conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: Red Badger

If RbAp48 is short for “roast beef and pork” then bring it on.


18 posted on 08/29/2013 11:22:53 AM PDT by bgill (This reply was mined before it was posted.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Ormus makes you remember. Imus makes you not want to.............


19 posted on 08/29/2013 11:26:19 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: Red Badger

ROFLMAO! Now why was I laughing?


20 posted on 08/29/2013 11:29:33 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I'm a Conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: Red Badger

Grampa Simpson: "Alright, lets see, first name, first name. Well, whenever I'm confused, I just check my underwear. It holds the answers to all the important questions. Call me Abraham Simpson."

Lisa: "Grampa, how'd you take off your underwear without taking off your pants?"

Grampa Simpson: "I don't know!"


Bart: "Didn't you wonder why you were getting checks for doing absolutely nothing?"

Grampa Simpson: "I figured because the democrats were in power again."


Grampa Simpson: "Ooh, I feel all funny. I'm in love! No, wait. It's a stroke. No, wait! It is love! I'm in love!"
21 posted on 08/29/2013 11:34:36 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (I'm a Christian, pro-life, pro-gun, Reaganite. The GOP hates me. Why should I vote for them?)
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To: FReepers; Patriots; FRiends




FReepathon Day 60 ... PLEASE Make Your Donation Today!
Less than $4.6k to GO!
$25 Keeps FR ALIVE

God bless and keep you all.

22 posted on 08/29/2013 11:36:20 AM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: Red Badger

So why is it that I’m almost sixty and I swear that in many ways my memory is getting BETTER?


23 posted on 08/29/2013 12:10:54 PM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: henkster

One doctor on a uTube said that in order to continue to learn, older persons must forget some of what they remmembered in the past. I don’t know if this is true or not. I couldn’t find the report from yesterday.


24 posted on 08/29/2013 12:13:42 PM PDT by Cowgirl
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To: Jeff Chandler

A guy at work was talking about Hopalong Cassidy yesterday and was asking if he had a limp. I said no, but there was some guy’s sidekick that had a limp. As the word left my lips, another ejected itself from my brain out of some dark corner.

Festus.

My brain seems to do well with its secondary indexes but it’s all a mystery to me.


25 posted on 08/29/2013 12:15:51 PM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: cuban leaf

Because you forgot so much that you now have more room.............like cleaning your hard drive!.......


26 posted on 08/29/2013 12:19:23 PM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: Red Badger

So, when I say, “I’ve forgotten more than you’ve learned, sonny.” that’s a good thing!


27 posted on 08/29/2013 12:20:17 PM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: Red Badger

You kids stay off my lawn!


28 posted on 08/29/2013 12:30:29 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: cuban leaf

An elderly man that was having difficulty with his memory had recently come under the care of a memory specialist. He was teaching his elderly patient the benefits of diet and regular exercise as a way of extending the memory recall his patient still possessed. Additionally, he was teaching him how to use association and other mental tricks to help aid with his declining recall.

That evening the elderly man and his wife had some friends over for dinner. While the women were in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on the meal the elderly man was relating to his friend the things he was learning. He spoke with excitement and pride regarding his new knowledge and how helpful the doctor’s recommendations had been. Impressed, the friend asked, “Say, what’s the name of that doctor anyway?” “Oh, oh, ah, ah let’s see, ah, oh yea I know, ah what’s the name of that, that flower, you know which one I mean. It’s the one that smells so good and a, a, it, it it’s usually red and, ah, and it has thorns, yea, it has thorns - you know, right?” Puzzled, the friend stated, “You - don’t - mean - a rose, do you?” “Yea, yea that’s it! A - a rose, a rose. Hey Rose, what’s the name of that doctor I’m seeing?”


29 posted on 08/29/2013 12:32:22 PM PDT by Lake Living
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To: Cowgirl

I’m still learning, or trying to learn. I devour history books at the rate of about 12-20 per year. Right now I’m reading a biography of Civil War General Henry Halleck, then it’s on to David Glantz’ two volume set on the Battle of Smolensk between the Germans and Soviets in July-September 1941. I’d really like to have a good operational history of the Punic Wars, but haven’t found one.

In order to be a “well-rounded” person, one should engage in a life-long study of a subject not related to your career, play a musical instrument, speak a second language, and play a sport or at least exercise regularly. Although I have no musical ability, I’m hoping the other things can keep me young in mind, body and spirit.


30 posted on 08/29/2013 12:47:32 PM PDT by henkster (If the Feds create an unlimited demand for bastard children, you get an unlimited supply of them.)
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To: Red Badger

I understand that Monica Lewinsky can remember everything in her past AND present life in graphic detail .


31 posted on 08/29/2013 1:06:49 PM PDT by Datom (Still runnin' "Against the Wind.")
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To: Red Badger

I don’t remember reading this article.......


32 posted on 08/29/2013 1:14:13 PM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: Datom

She has a photogenic memory......


33 posted on 08/29/2013 1:16:16 PM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: cuban leaf

I’m sorry, what were you saying?


34 posted on 08/29/2013 1:39:11 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Don't blame me for McCain.)
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To: henkster

You might enjoy www.thegreatcourses.com as they have a huge supply of ancient history, music history, etc. DVD lectures and workbook. I’m 66 and still love to learn. My job is weather reporting at an airport in Alaska so I can watch these tapes at work. I also enjoy writing music and playing the guitar. I really wish the world wasn’t in such bad shape and we could all enjoy a peaceful life. I worry for the sake of my sons and their families.


35 posted on 08/29/2013 1:45:06 PM PDT by Cowgirl
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To: Lake Living
Two old friends met on the street. The one old guy went on and on about the wonderful new hearing aid he recently purchased. It was extremely expensive but it was worth it because it incorporated the latest leading edge auditory compensation technology, and was in fact developed by one of the world's leading otolaryngological surgeons.

His friend was so impressed that he said, "Wow, maybe I should get one. What kind is it?"

The old guy looked at his watch and said, "Oh, about 4:30."

36 posted on 08/29/2013 1:49:45 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Don't blame me for McCain.)
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To: dainbramaged

“I’m 61 and remember my first day of kindergarten but I can’t seem to locate my keys.”

none of our memories are “gone”

the older ones were well indexed (likely many times) long ago

but it is the indexing system (Brain talking to itself - “now where shall I put this so I can get it back sometime” that no longer works as automatically as it did when we were younger;

so a lot of newer stuff - particularly little stuff - gets chucked away with little or no or a bad index to where it is put

but I have found a method-helper

as much as I can I stop myself from doing ANYTHING, particularly any of the small stuff, AUTOMATICALLY

instead, I will say - just in my head: “I’m setting the keys here”; “it’s 11:30 and I’m taking the Losartan”; etc., etc., etc.; and lo and behold the brain finds the entries for the memory when I seek them

and I have started NOT forgetting most anything

it seems that with age we have to take-over, mentally-actively, some of the indexing of things to be remembered, and it also seems from my experience that we can


37 posted on 08/29/2013 2:08:40 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Cowgirl

Thatks funny; in the Great Courses series I actually have Prof. Fagsan of U of Pa’s lecture series on Rome. I will probably add more to my Chrristmas list. I play the DVD’s while working out. The first Punic War is up next.


38 posted on 08/29/2013 6:08:52 PM PDT by henkster (If the Feds create an unlimited demand for bastard children, you get an unlimited supply of them.)
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To: cuban leaf

Hmmmmm... not Festus (Ken Curtis), but Chester (Dennis Weaver)


39 posted on 08/30/2013 11:18:27 AM PDT by Stand Watch Listen
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