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The Arc of Strengthening or Weakening Synapses

Neurons. Image: Jason ShepherdThe MIT news office reports that MIT scientists "have now found that a single protein, known as Arc, appears to control neurons’ ability to strengthen and weaken their synapses by regulating the number of neurotransmitter receptors on their surfaces." The article also mentions that Arc weakens synapses by removing receptors for glutamate, a neurotransmitter that stimulates neuron activity, from neuron cell membranes." Some of us take glutamate related nutrients for brain stimulation. Perhaps some Arc related activity is subverting our efforts? The article mentions the discoveries could help target drugs against Fragile X and Angelman syndromes (forms of mental retardation) but doesn’t mention the enhancement possibilities.


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