Saturday, September 09, 2006

Memory molecule

For those of us approaching our senior years and having senior moments, the following article will be of interest. Apparently, like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, you can erase memories and replace them later. Perhaps there is hope after all for those of us who enter a room and can't remember why we are there.

Scientists at SUNY Downstate Medical Center have discovered a molecular mechanism that maintains memories in the brain. In an article in Science magazine, they demonstrate that by inhibiting the molecule they can erase long-term memories, much as you might erase a computer disc.

Furthermore, erasing the memory from the brain does not prevent the ability to re-learn the memory, much as a cleaned computer disc may be re-used. This finding may some day have applications in treating chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and memory loss, among other conditions.

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