Washington: In a new study, researchers have shown that a widely accepted model of long-term memory formation — that it hinges on a single enzyme in the brain — is flawed. The new study by Johns Hopkins researchers found that mice lacking the enzyme that purportedly builds memory were in fact still able to form long-term memories as well as normal mice could.“The prevailing theory is that when you learn something, you strengthen connections between your brain cells called synapses,” Richard Huganir said.“The question is, how exactly does this strengthening happen?” he said.A research group at SUNY Downstate, led by Todd Sacktor, Ph.D., has suggested that key to the process is an enzyme they discovered, known as PKM-zeta. In 2006, Sacktor’s group made waves when it created a molecule that seemed to block the action of PKM-zeta — and only PKM-zeta.
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