Rutgers researchers have discovered what could be the newest target for drugs in the treatment of memory and learning disabilities as well as diseases such as Alzheimers and fetal alcohol syndrome: a protein known as cypin.
Cypin is found throughout the body, but in the brain it regulates nerve cell or neuron branching. Branching or dendrite growth is an important process in normal brain function and is thought to increase when a person learns. A reduction in branching is associated with certain neurological diseases.
"The identification of cypin and understanding how it works in the brain is particularly exciting since it opens up new avenues for the treatment of serious neurological disorders," said principal investigator Bonnie Firestein, assistant professor of cell biology and neuroscience at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. "This paves the way to designing new drugs that could target this protein molecule."
Joseph Blumberg | EurekAlert!
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