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Pinpoint Gene Control Holds Promise For Nervous System Studies

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The ability to turn on and off genes in the nervous system should help scientists better understand the role of NGF and other neurotrophic factors, substances that help keep our neurons alive and healthy. Scientists believe the presence of such factors helps determine how our brains are wired. For example, like trees shooting out their roots in search of water, neurons in one part of the brain, the basal forebrain, send their projections in search of NGF to the hippocampus. The team plans to study the effect of increased NGF in the hippocampus on these neurons. One area of special interest is the effect of NGF on memory and learning, a link that may be relevant to patients with Alzheimer's disease, where NGF-sensitive neurons in the brain's basal forebrain are among those damaged.


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Contact: Tom Rickey
trickey@admin.rochester.edu
716-275-7954
University of Rochester
24-Dec-1996


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