plasticity, but the changes are usually smaller and last longer. Long-term plasticity has been particularly well-studied in recent years, more so than short-term plasticity. It is thought to be important for long-term memory, Schoch said.
The RIM1 protein was identified in 1997 by Sdhof and his research collaborators.
I think once the whole process is better understood there definitely could be implications for drug development, Schoch said. Right now were trying to put together a huge puzzle, so the full picture is still very unclear. Once we learn more about the entire process, then it would be helpful for understanding more about learning and memory, but right now we are getting a basic understanding of how the process works.
Sdhofs research focuses on nerve-cell interaction and neurotransmitter release. Through this research he hopes to gain a better understanding of brain function under normal and pathologic conditions. Sdhof and his collaborators made an important discovery last year about how a harmful Alzheimers disease protein functions in healthy brains. The findings, which put researchers one step closer to defining the pathogenesis of the disease, were published in Science in July 2000.
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Contact: Amy Shields
UT Southwestern Medical Center
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