A Single Protein May Help Explain Memory Loss In Old Age
by Jon Hamilton
August 29, 2013
If you’re finding it harder to remember where you put the car keys, the culprit could be a brain protein with a name that’s easy to forget: RbAp48.
A shortage of this protein appears to impair our ability to remember things as we age, researchers report in the current issue of Science Translational Medicine. And boosting levels of RbAP48 in aging brains can reverse memory loss, at least in mice, they say.
The protein was studied in an area of the brain that is generally unaffected by Alzheimer’s disease.
The research “reinforces the emerging idea that Alzheimer’s disease and aging are separate entities,” says Scott Small, a neurologist at Columbia University and one of the study’s authors. It also suggests that, eventually, it should be possible to treat memory loss that’s not related to Alzheimer’s.
Molecular Mechanism for Age-Related Memory Loss: The Histone-Binding Protein RbAp48
Sci Transl Med 28 August 2013: 5 (200): 200ra115