Researchers Discover How To Erase Memory

November 2nd, 2010 - 11:00 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Nov 2 (THAINDIAN NEWS) In a report which is expected to be released in Science Express this week, researchers have discovered how to erase memories, by removing a protein, according to ‘medicalnewstoday.com’.

Working with mice, they have found out that if you remove a protein from the part of the brain which is responsible for remembering fear, they can completely erase traumatic events from the memory.

Richard L. Huganir, Ph.D., who is a professor and director of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, stated, “When a traumatic event occurs, it creates a fearful memory that can last a lifetime and have a debilitating effect on a person’s life. Our finding describing these molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in that process raises the possibility of manipulating those mechanisms with drugs to enhance behavioral therapy for such conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Since these kinds of proteins are unstable, and can be removed from the nerve cells, these researchers say that they would likely be able to remove fear simply by taking out the proteins and adding in behavior therapy. “The idea was to remove these proteins and weaken the connections in the brain created by the trauma, thereby erasing the memory itself,” states Huganir, adding, “This may sound like science fiction, the ability to selectively erase memories but this may one day be applicable for the treatment of debilitating fearful memories in people, such as post-traumatic stress syndrome associated with war, rape or other traumatic events.”

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