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Alzheimer’s protein APP regulates learning and social behavior in the healthy brain

While the APP protein is well-known for its key role in Alzheimer’s disease, its contribution to healthy brain function, by contrast, has remained largely unknown until now. Recently, an international research team, led by molecular biologist Prof. Dr. Ulrike Müller from Heidelberg University, gained new insights on the physiological functions of the APP protein family by using a mouse model lacking APP. The absence of APP during brain development was shown to result in the malformation of important brain regions implicated in learning and memory. Consequently, these mice were severely impaired in their learning abilities and exhibited autistic-like behavior.