'Smart' mice teach scientists about learning process, brain disorders

DALLAS May 27, 2007 -- Mice genetically engineered to lack a single enzyme in their brains are more adept at learning than their normal cousins, and are quicker to figure out that their environment has changed, a team led by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center has found.

The results, appearing today in the online edition of the journal Nature Neuroscience, reveal a new mechanism of learning in the brain, which might serve in humans as a target for treating disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimers disease or drug addiction, the researchers said.

"Its pretty rare that you make mice smarter, so there are a lot of cognitive implications," said Dr. James Bibb, assistant professor of psychiatry and the studys senior author.

"Everything is more meaningful to these mice," he said. "The increase in sensitivity to their surroundings seems to have made them smarter."

The engineered mice were more adept at learning to navigate a water maze and remembering that being in a certain box involves a mild shock. Equally important, Dr. Bibb said, when a situtation changed, such as the water maze being rearranged, the engineered mice were much faster to realize that things were different and work out the new route.

Dr. Bibb cautioned that while the mice learn faster, studies on the long-term effects of deleting the enzyme, called Cdk5, from the brain are continuing.

The group is also beginning a search for drugs that might create the same effects without genetic manipulation and monitoring the animals health and behavior over time.

The findings may have applications in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, where getting a patient to learn that a once-threatening situation no longer poses a danger is a major goal.

In addition, Cdk5 is heavily implicated in Alzheimers disease and addiction to drugs of abuse, so understanding how the enzyme affects the brain and

Contact: Aline McKenzie
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. Smart sunglasses and goggles let users adjust shade and color
2. Smart buildings to guide future first responders
3. Next generation of Latino drug abuse experts at UH to learn, teach
4. Resident work hour restrictions may be costly for teaching hospitals
5. Northwestern surgeon invents teaching technology for scary patient exams
6. Alcohol interventions that teach practical skills work best with high-risk university students
7. Do patients in teaching hospitals get better care?
8. M. D. Anderson teaches the art of aromatherapy to soothe and heal
9. Strategies that teach a caregiver to manage a loved ones illness also helps in coping with death
10. HIV risks reduced when mothers teach daughters about disease
11. Three Pitt teacher-scholars honored by NSF with CAREER awards

Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/8/2015)... ... October 08, 2015 , ... Mirixa Corporation ... decade as the recognized leader in targeted patient care services, Mirixa remains dedicated ... community pharmacies available. Recent changes in the health care marketplace threaten to limit ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... ... October 08, 2015 , ... Daniel S. Herman, ... a Life Fellow by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (LFHIMSS) for ... technology. The HIMSS Board of Directors advances members to this status who have ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... ... October 08, 2015 , ... Nachos, wings and beer are a ... snack selection at your weekend football gathering. , Registered dietitians from Retrofit, a ... be a football foodie while keeping your health in the game. , Have ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... ... 08, 2015 , ... Carpet One Floor & Home has just released their ... One Welcomes Your Support campaign has been raising funds to support organizations and researchers ... , Twenty-five percent of each sale will be donated to the Breast Cancer ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... ... October 08, 2015 , ... HIMSS will dig deep into one of ... and Healthcare Analytics Forum , to be held at the Westin Copley Place in ... School and David W. Bates, CIO and SVP of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/8/2015)... Oct. 8, 2015  A new series of videos ... by Janssen Research & Development, LLC ("Janssen") as part ... about progress in brain research, treatment options, and resources ... and communities. The new videos can be viewed on ... Mary Giliberti , J.D., Executive Director at the ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... 8, 2015 USA ... Chief Commercial Officer wird Groch für die Leitung ... verantwortlich zeichnen, die mit der Einführung von ... mit nicht muskelinvasivem Blasenkrebs nach deren voraussichtlichen Zulassung ... 1. Quartal 2016 ihren Anfang nehmen wird. --> ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... N.J. , Oct. 8, 2015 "Official Joint ... Orthopaedics heads to Cary, NC this ... 15 th anniversary and known as one of the ... is pleased to bring the Stryker Mobility Zone to SAS ... year. Bill Huffnagle , President, Reconstructive Division, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: