Research reveals that a protein termed as AKT, which happens to be present within the brain tissue and is extremely indispensable for the brain, actually aids in enabling the human brain in adapting towards new challenges, experiences, and creating new memories.
Have you ever wondered how people can remember certain wedding days, childhood memories, birthday parties and other random facts from years ago? A team of researchers from the University of Colorado recently attempted to understand this phenomena, and they revealed that a protein known as AKT is responsible for helping the brain adapt towards new environments, undertake new experiences, and recall memories from times long gone by.
The researchers revealed that AKT is obtained from three different varieties that are present in various kinds of brain cells, and they tend to impact the health of the brain in their own distinctive ways. This is a ground-breaking discovery that will lead to more innovative research for the development of successful and targeted treatments to cure various brain-related ailments, such as Alzheimer’s disease, brain cancer, and even schizophrenia.
Medical science has very little knowledge about AKT despite the fact that it is such an essential protein for the brain’s health and impacts the onset of various neurological ailments. According to Charles Hoeffer, the author of this research,
“AKT is a central protein that has been implicated in a bevy of neurological diseases yet we know amazingly little about it”.
More recently, researchers have revealed that AKT is a vital player in encouraging synaptic plasticity, which is basically a termed coined to refer to the ability of the brain to strengthen its cellular connectivity in response to certain experiences. Whenever the brain needs to form a memory or develop a response towards a situation, the AKT comes into play. It is one of the very first proteins within the brain to come to life and it can be thought of as a switch that triggers the availability of our memories, kind of a like a door to the memory factory of the brain.
Charles Hoeffer further explains this phenomena by reporting,
Let’s say you see a great white shark and you are scared and your brain wants to form a memory of what’s going on. You have to make new proteins to encode that memory.
This study was conducted on a sample of mice, and the researchers examined the impact of AKT by silencing off the three distinct isoforms or types of AKT present within the mice. Then, their brain activity was observed in a controlled environment. The results revealed that AKT2 is exclusively present within the astroglia, which are basically star-shaped, supportive cells within the brain and the spinal cord, and they tend to affected by the symptoms of brain cancer and brain injuries.
The results also revealed that AKT1 is present within the neurons, and it happens to be the most essential variety of AKT in encouraging the strengthening of synapses as a response to experiences, which is basically the development of our memories.
Moreover, AKT3 has been revealed to play a vital role in the growth of the brain. Amongst the sample group, the mice who had their AKT3 gene silenced revealed a much smaller brain size. This is a revolutionary, ground-breaking study that will provide medical science greater insight in developing isoform treatments that accurately cure away various brain ailments and neurological diseases. Charles Hoeffer and his team concluded his research with a final note that said,
Isoform-specific treatments hold great promise for the design of targeted therapies to treat neurological diseases with much greater efficacy and accuracy than those utilizing a one-size-fits-all approach.