Calcium has a key role in the process of age-related memory loss, according to a recent study.
One might think that memory loss is related to the gradual disappearance of brain cells. Nevertheless, it is not the case.
According to the results of a study, conducted by researchers from the University of Cambridge and published in the journal Ageing Cella crucial factor in the loss of cognitive functions such as memory or learning would be the level of calcium present in specific brain cells.
The team of researchers focused on synapses, the electro-chemical connections between neurons in the central nervous system and the level of calcium in the hippocampus, a part of the brain needed for learning and memory. .
Considerable potential for treatment leads
The study was conducted on mice carrying a calcium-sensitive fluorescent protein in the pre-synaptic part of the hippocampus. These mice, aged 6, 12, 18 and 24 months, were subjected to labyrinth exercises and object recognition.
An increase in pre-synaptic calcium levels in the hippocampus of young mice prompted them to behave like old mice. While a reduction in pre-synaptic calcium has helped to "rejuvenate" older mice, which is most fascinating.
The researchers thus highlighted a clear correlation between cognitive ability and pre-synaptic calcium levels. Results that have considerable potential for developing treatments for memory loss and cognitive functions in humans.