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Science File | IN BRIEF

Memory Loss Traced to Form of Brain Protein

March 18, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

Scientists have identified a substance in the brains of mice that causes memory loss, which could be a target for drugs to treat patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Using genetically engineered mice that developed memory loss similar to Alzheimer's victims', the researchers discovered that it was caused by a form of the amyloid beta protein. After injecting healthy rats with the protein, drawn from the mice, the rats experienced a decline in their cognitive ability, according to the scientists' report in the current issue of Nature.

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