Nav: Home

Brain remapping dysfunction causes spatial memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease

August 19, 2020

Alzheimer's disease is one of the most serious diseases in an aging society, yet the cause is often unclear and there is no appropriate treatment method. Many patients with Alzheimer's disease develop spatial memory impairment which causes symptoms such as wandering, putting a great stress on caregivers. However, the cause of spatial memory impairment has been long unclear.

A research group led by Kei Igarashi, an assistant professor at University of California, Irvine elucidated the brain circuit mechanism that cause of spatial memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease. The research group used Alzheimer's disease model mice developed at RIKEN in 2014 and analyzed the brain activity of mice performing memory behaviors using an electrophysiological technique(1). The results showed that brain function to distinguish different locations called as "remapping"(2), a function of the hippocampus(3) of healthy brain, become impaired. The results also showed that this hippocampal dysfunction was caused by decreased activity in the brain region called the entorhinal cortex(4).

These results indicate that the impairment of remapping causes spatial memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease. In the future, improving brain remapping function may reverse spatial memory impairment in patients with Alzheimer's disease, for example using deep brain stimulation methods.

The study was conducted jointly with Takaomi Saido, a team leader at the RIKEN and Professor Takashi Saito at Nagoya City University, as part of the JST Strategic Basic Research Programs.
(1) Electrophysiological technique

This is a method for directly measuring electrical signals using metal electrodes for recording brain activity.

(2) Remapping

The function of place cells and grid cells to distinguish different rooms. Since there are countless place cells in the hippocampus, every time an animal moves into a different room, activity patterns of many place cells will change all at once. Since the combination of place cell group patterns is different in each room, combinations of place cells create spatial memory of different locations.

(3) Hippocampus

The memory center of the brain. The hippocampus, the Greek word for seahorse, is so named because it has a shape similar to that of a seahorse. It has special electric circuits to store and recall memory information. When the hippocampus is damaged, memory impairment occurs.

(4) Entorhinal cortex

A part of the brain that forms the memory center of the brain along with the hippocampus. Information from various parts of the brain enters the hippocampus through the entorhinal cortex and is stored in memory. The information stored in the hippocampus is transferred to various parts of the brain through the entorhinal cortex. Therefore, damage to the entorhinal cortex also causes memory impairment.

Japan Science and Technology Agency

Related Brain Function Articles:

Smartphones can predict brain function associated with anxiety and depression
Phone data such as social activity, screen time and location can predict connectivity between regions of the brain that are responsible for emotion.
Body weight has surprising, alarming impact on brain function
Amsterdam and Costa Mesa, CA, August 5, 2020 - As a person's weight goes up, all regions of the brain go down in activity and blood flow, according to a new brain imaging study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.
Light drinking may protect brain function
Light to moderate drinking may preserve brain function in older age, according to a new study from the University of Georgia.
Different hormone therapies affect brain function differently
Sex hormones influence the structure and function of the brain, but little is known about the effect of hormone therapies (HT) on changes in the brain during menopause.
Study shows how memory function could be preserved after brain injury
study examining the effect of the immune receptor known as Toll-like Receptor 4, or TLR4, on how memory functions in both the normal and injured brain has found vastly different cellular pathways contribute to the receptor's effects on excitability in the uninjured and injured brain.
Antioxidant precursor molecule could improve brain function in patients with MS
The naturally occurring molecule N-acetylcysteine (NAC) shows benefit in a clinical trial for multiple sclerosis.
Aerobic exercise training linked to enhanced brain function
Amsterdam, NL, February 3, 2020 - Individuals at risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) because of family history or genetic predisposition who engaged in six months of aerobic exercise training improved their brain glucose metabolism and higher-order thinking abilities (e.g., planning and mental flexibility) called executive function; these improvements occurred in conjunction with increased cardiorespiratory fitness.
Patterns in the brain shed new light on how we function
Patterns of brain connectivity take us a step closer to understanding the key principles of cognition.
New function for potential tumor suppressor in brain development
New research from the group of Simon Hippenmeyer, professor at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria), has now uncovered a novel, opposite role for Cdkn1c.
Ground-breaking work improves understanding of brain function
Dr. Corrado Calì, a Research Scientist specializing in brain imaging at KAUST, and Swiss scientists from the Blue Brain Project (BBP), have shown how lactate is necessary for memory formation and learning, which could lead to improved learning and memory function.
More Brain Function News and Brain Function Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.