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Vitamin A linked to learning and memory

Results of a study published in the journal Neuron suggest that vitamin A affects cells in a region of the brain linked to learning and memory.

Researchers created special genetically altered mice, known as knockout mice, which were missing two brain-specific receptors for the vitamin. Although the mice developed normally, compared to ordinary mice they performed poorly on standard intelligence tests.

On further examination, the brain cells of the knockout mice were seen to lack the ability to undergo necessary changes in order to facilitate learning.

Neuron, December 1998