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Kansas City scientist finds proteins in the brain can do more than cause Alzheimer's disease

The squiggly blue lines visible in the neurons are an Alzheimer's biomarker called tau. The brownish clumps are amyloid plaques.
National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health
The squiggly blue lines visible in these neurons are an Alzheimer's biomarker called tau. The brownish clumps are amyloid plaques.

A Stowers Institute researcher intent on learning how our brains work found that proteins can have more than one effect on what we remember.

Kausik Si, who has a doctorate in molecular biology, oversees a lab at the Stowers Institute that works to understand how some experiences can change behavior while others do not.

Si's team took a deep dive into how memory works and made a surprising discovery about the role of proteins in our brains.

Amyloid proteins are the source of plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease. Si's lab has found that proteins can also create structures that help form and stabilize long-term memories.

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