Nature Communications

Role of prion protein in aiding memory and learning by affecting zinc metabolism in brain

Scientists from the University of Leeds have found that the protein called prion helps our brains to absorb zinc, which is believed to be crucial to our ability to learn and the wellbeing of our memory.

The findings published today (Tuesday 16 October) in Nature Communications show that prion protein regulates the amount of zinc in the brain by helping cells absorb it through channels in the cell surface. It is already known that high levels of zinc between brain cells are linked with diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

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