A study shows that you can delete traumatic memories in mice

14 07 2011

Two researchers of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (United States) they have carried out an investigation which demonstrates that it is possible to permanently delete traumatic memories in mice. The experiment, focused on the analysis of a protein in the region of the brain responsible for remember the fear, You can contribute to improve the treatment of pathologies of the behavior as, for example, post-traumatic stress disorder.

Richard L. Huganir, Professor and director of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (United States).

When a traumatic event occurs, creates a terrible memories that can last a lifetime a person and who has a debilitating effect on health. The possibility of eliminating the effects of this type of memories in mice has been the subject of research carried out by Richard L. Huganir, Professor and director of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (United States), and Roger Clem, postdoctoral fellow. Their research describes the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in this process and raises the possibility of using drugs to enhance the behavior therapy.

The study focused on the nerves of the amygdala circuits, the part of the brain responsible for processing and storing of emotional reactions, as fear, in humans and animals. The scientists exposed a set of mice to a strong and sudden sound to cause them to fear and could observe that certain cells of the amygdala behaved differently after each broadcast of sound.

The analysis of this phenomenon allowed the discovery of temporary amount of protein increases, especially the AMPAR permeable to calcium, a few hours of fear conditioning. The data showed that the highest value of proteins was 24 hours after cause the feeling of fear and it disappeared after two days.

As these proteins in particular are especially unstable, scientists expected that memories of fear could be permanently deleted through a combination of behavior and the Elimination of the AMPAR protein therapies, and thus weaken the connections in the brain created by trauma, selectively deleting episodes of memory.

Gencat.cat [en línea] Spain: geGencat.cat14 in July of 2011, [REF. 22 in December of 2010] Available on Internet:




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