Memory Month Day 17: How are Weight and Schizophrenia Connected to Memory?

Today I was reading through a newsletter I received from sciencedaily.com, and I had an idea. Since I decided to name this month the memory month, it would really be useful to look up some of the discovery connected to memory. Quite a brilliant idea, if I do say so myself.

DSCN0356

So, I did a search through the titles, and I found two that spoke of memory. One was connecting it to weight, and the other, to schizophrenia.

1) Excess weight linked to brain changes that may relate to memory, emotions, and appetite 

In this study, it was found that having excess weight may be linked to a decrease in the levels of a molecule that has to do with the health of brain cells in a specific section. That part of the brain, known as the hippocampus, is important in acquiring new knowledge and emotions. As we all know, acquiring new knowledge relies heavily on memory. Now, the implications of this study are a little unclear. We have to grant that. As I mentioned, researchers linked excess weight to reduced levels of that molecule, but they are unsure of the direction in which that link goes. It could be that decreased levels of the molecule causes weight gain, or that weight gain causes decreased levels of that molecule. As anyone who’s learnt about correlation will tell you, we can’t (yet) claim causation.

2)How memory, schizophrenia are connected

In this study, researchers have found that there is a network of genes that is responsible for a number of important aspects of brain functioning. Two of those aspects have to do with memory and schizophrenia. Essentially, what was found out was that this network of genes is very important to the electric excitability of neurons. Also, they have been shown to play an important role in the activity of two parts of the brain that are important for working memory. For those who are unaware, working memory is the memory that hold on to information for a few seconds at a time. It is the one that enables us to gather “data” from our environment. Also, it seems that when the mechanism of neural processes (for example, the electric excitability of them) does not work well, schizophrenia might emerge.

Those are the news that have to do with memory. Quite interesting ones, if you ask me. With the first study, they have yet to prove which one is the cause and which the effect. I’d love to find out as soon as possible. With the second, the discovery will start to be put to good use, as they are trying to come up with drugs that can help people with memory and other types of mental disorders.

Aside from doing this reading, I must admit I didn’t do much else connected to the memory challenge. What I can tell you, however, is that I was able to recall that thing from yesterday…ventromedial prefrontal cortex. No cheating involved, I promise! 🙂 Hopefully, there will be more soon.

See you tomorrow!

/Larisa

  • Confused about what’s going on? Click here!
  • For the post that started this challenge, click here.
  • For yesterday’s entry, click here.
Advertisements

Let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s