Scientists Managed to Delete Certain Parts of Memory in Experiments

Scientists have succeeded in erasing certain parts of memory in experiments. In the movie 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' starring Jim Carrey, Carrey played a man whose memory was erased, but who later regained his memory and had nightmares. In their experiment on mice, scientists revealed how they can erase certain parts of the memory that happened to Carrey.

Neuroscientists at the US's Scripps Research Institute announced that they have developed a method that can be used to treat ailments such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or drug addiction.

In the study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, it was stated that certain parts of the memory could be erased in experiments on mice.

"Our memory is what makes us who we are, but some memories can make life very difficult," said neuroscientist Courtney Miller, who led the study.

“Unlike what happened in Jim Carrey's movie, we aim to selectively destroy people's memories of events in their past, such as trauma and drug addiction... Experiments on mice have shown that we can erase ingrained substance abuse in the brain without damaging the rest of the memory.”

When memory is formed, changes occur in the extensions on the nerve cells, which look like tree branches. These small, bulb-like structures receive electrochemical transmissions from neurons and change in their structures through a protein called actin.

In their experiment, scientists blocked actin polymerization, which led to the emergence of chain-like molecules. During memory formation in the brains of mice, a molecule called Myosin II was blocked, not allowing the polymerization process to be completed.

As a result of the experiment, it was observed that the mice exhibited behaviors that indicated that they had lost their memories as a result of methamphetamine addiction.

Mice were trained to respond to methamphetamine use through strong visual, tactile and olfactory stimuli in the experiments. Mice given a polymerization inhibitor began to show incomplete or no response to drug-related stimuli on observation days later under the same conditions. Rewards, such as food for stimuli, also did not affect the behavior of the mice.

According to the news of the RedOrbit site, scientists think that the persistence of methamphetamine-related memory in the brain is due to the reward and pleasure-related neurotransmitter dopamine.

“We're trying to understand what makes drug-based memory different… Our goal is that the method we've developed will work for other disorders, such as PTSD,” Miller said.


Source : radical

📩 11/09/2013 23:32

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