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J Clin Pharm Ther. 1999 Aug;24(4):241-8.

Hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cognition.

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Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Institute of Medicinal Plants, Tehran, Iran.


Discoveries made over the past 20 years have greatly improved our understanding of how the brain functions. This article focuses on the relation between memory and cellular mechanisms of neuronal and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Several studies indicate that the hippocampal formation is a crucial element of the neurobiological bases of higher cognitive function. Severe damage to the hippocampal formation is known to produce seemingly permanent anterograde amnesia. A generally accepted hypothesis in neurobiology has been that long-lasting activity-dependent changes in the efficacy of synaptic transmission in the mammalian brain are considered to be of fundamental importance for the development of neural circuitry and for the storage of information. The most compelling and reliable model for such changes has been long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) in the hippocampus. Therefore, the possibility of the discovery and development of compounds that, by modulating hippocampal synaptic plasticity, would be useful for the management of dementia and amnesia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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