Further analysis found that the protein impedes the production of molecules that stabilize synapses, which are connections between neurons involved in forming and holding onto memories. The study also showed that another protein called adducin stimulates the growth of synapses, helping to retain memory. The balance between these competing processes determines which memories are held onto. "An imbalance in these of these mechanisms may result in altered memory function that could play a role in memory-related disorders" in humans, the study concluded. While it's too early to make the leap to humans, these proteins could be important targets for research into pharmaceuticals to treat Alzheimer's disease and the like.