Neuroscientists discover a molecular mechanism that allows memories to form

A cross section of a mouse brain stained in a rainbow of colors

When the brain forms a memory of a new experience, neurons called engram cells encode the details of the memory and are later reactivated whenever we recall it. A new MIT study reveals that this process is controlled by large-scale remodeling of cells’ chromatin. This remodeling, which allows specific genes involved in storing memories to …

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Alzheimer’s risk gene disrupts endocytosis, but another disease-linked gene could help

Long, thin,spiny cells stained yellow and blue appear above a black background

In a new study, a team of scientists based at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research reveals evidence showing that the most prominent Alzheimer’s disease risk gene may disrupt a fundamental process in a key type of brain cell. Moreover, in a sign of how …

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On The Same Wavelength

Li-Huei Tsai smiles in a picture with a video play button superposed in the foreground

In a new video, MIT’s School of Science provides an inside look behind the Tsai lab’s discovery that stimulating 40Hz “gamma” frequency brain activity in mice can address Alzheimer’s pathology and symptoms, including memory loss and neuronal death.  Part of the “Moments of Discovery” series, the video recreates former graduate student Hannah Iaccarino’s key early …

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Study finds path for addressing Alzheimer’s blood-brain barrier impairment

Rainbow hued blood vessels spread out in a weblike formation

By developing a lab-engineered model of the human blood-brain barrier (BBB), neuroscientists at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have discovered how the most common Alzheimer’s disease risk gene causes amyloid protein plaques to disrupt the brain’s vasculature and showed they could prevent the damage with medications already approved for human use. About 25 …

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Tsai elected fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Li-Huei Tsai is shown in profile as she stands smiling at a podium

The National Academy of Inventors has selected MIT neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai, Picower Professor of Neuroscience and director of The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, as a member of its 2019 class of new fellows. NAI fellows “have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a …

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