Type 2 insulin (IGF-II) growth factor reinforces memory and prevents forgetfulness in animal models, scientists have found.
The result of the international research study was developed at the Mount Sinai Hospital Medical School in New York.
The study describes the role played by IGF-II in the processes of consolidation of long-term memory.
"Through microarray studies (gene identification) we see that the gene that codes this protein increases in the brain of rats exposed to a learning session," said Ana Garcia-Osta of the University of Navarra, one of the authors of the study.
"On administering IGF-II locally into the hypocampus (the part of the brain where memory is acquired and consolidated) of these animals, we observe that the animal undergoes reinforcement of memory and prevention of forgetfulness," she said.
Also, the blocking of the expression of the hypocampus IGF-II gene impedes the formation of new memories, showing that that it is an essential molecule for memory to form and be consolidated.
"We believe that the IGF-II could be a new target for the design of therapies which enhance the cognitive function," Garcia-Osta added.
The study was published in the latest issue of Nature.