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Moderate drinking may boost memory, study suggests

urface of neurons in a region of the brain, the hippocampus, that plays a role in memory. Researchers think that NR1 plays a role in memory and learning.

In a separate set of experiments, During and Kalev-Zylinska increased the number of NR1 receptors in another group of rats, and found that this boost improved the animals' memories to an extent similar to the improvement seen in the rats given low doses of alcohol. They also they used a new gene transfer technique to knock down the NR1 receptors in a group of rats given alcohol alcohol had no memory-enhancing effects on these animals.

"These experiments suggest that the effect of alcohol works through the NR1 receptor, at least where memory and learning are concerned," During said.

"We didn't see any toxic effects of low-level alcohol consumption on the brain or the liver," During said. "It didn't damage neurons nor did it cause liver damage during the short study. But the higher dose of alcohol damaged both."


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Contact: Matthew During
During.1@osu.edu
614-247-4351
Ohio State University
25-Oct-2006


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