Skip to comments.Enzyme Enhances, Erases Long-Term Memories in Rats; Can Restore Even Old, Fading Memories...
Posted on 03/08/2011 1:18:04 PM PST by Red Badger
Even long after it is formed, a memory in rats can be enhanced or erased by increasing or decreasing the activity of a brain enzyme, say researchers supported, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.
"Our study is the first to demonstrate that, in the context of a functioning brain in a behaving animal, a single molecule, PKMzeta, is both necessary and sufficient for maintaining long-term memory," explained Todd Sacktor, of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center, New York City, a grantee of the NIH's National Institute of Mental Health.
Sacktor, Yadin Dudai, Ph.D., of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, and colleagues, report of their discovery March 4, 2011 in the journal Science.
Unlike other recently discovered approaches to memory enhancement, the PKMzeta mechanism appears to work any time. It is not dependent on exploiting time-limited windows when a memory becomes temporarily fragile and changeable -- just after learning and upon retrieval -- which may expire as a memory grows older, says Sacktor.
"This pivotal mechanism could become a target for treatments to help manage debilitating emotional memories in anxiety disorders and for enhancing faltering memories in disorders of aging," said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D.
In their earlier studies, Sacktor's team showed that even weeks after rats learned to associate a nauseating sensation with saccharin and shunned the sweet taste, their sweet tooth returned within a couple of hours after rats received a chemical that blocked the enzyme PKMzeta in the brain's outer mantle, or neocortex, where long-term memories are stored.
In the new study, they paired genetic engineering with the same aversive learning model to both confirm the earlier studies and to demonstrate, by increasing PKMzeta, the opposite effect.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
Can they just erase the crappy memories? ;-)
Now if they could just find one for the short ter....
Wonder how they know what rats remember?
They might erase too much.......oops!........
It’s in the article.........
They test them.
Ha, ha, yes, being the crabby old coot that I am, I am suspicious of wild, new technology. I would never trust a Star Trek transporter - one might arrive all rearranged incorrectly.
“They test them”.
Essay or multiple choice?
I think they need to do further tests on Harry Reid. He has shown a highly selective memory as have most of the other rats in congress.
Now I understand what the aliens are after....
I always knew democrats were deficient in an important enzyme.
Perhaps we could use this technology to erase all memory of the Obamacare debacle in all the RATS in DC. LOL.
To a Liberal, history started at breakfast this morning.......Ann Coulter.......
Harry ‘The Rat’ Reid. Seems like I saw him box way back when.
A long-time friend of mine gave me a great line about our memory lapses as we get older. He said:
It’s not a ‘loss of memory’ problem, it’s a ‘memory retrieval’ problem. A ‘lost’ memory is really not lost at all; it’s there, but the retrieval system doesn’t work so well sometimes, in our ‘sunset’ years.
His idea seems to make scientific sense, as this report claims, in as much as certain enzymes can help ‘restore’ memories. And, even without the aid of science, we ourselves sometimes find a ‘lost’ memory - sometimes even very unexpectedly and sometimes out of context of anything we are doing at the moment.
They had to still be there, and not missing at all, in order to be ‘found’ again.
We should learn to start referring to this whole issue as the issue of “misplaced” memories.
They remember how to get back to Madison to vote.
I can see a use for this enzyme in terrorist interrogations used along with sodium pentothal..............
The only problem with that is that you might end up repeating whatever it was that created the original bad memory.........
Kinda like forgetting that your one night stand with a gal resulted in a STD and a case of the crabs then running into her in a bar and asking her out again.......bad memories are there for a reason. LOL!
My grandfather, who died in the early 1970’s, had Alzheimer’s.
He would ‘remember’ stuff from his youth and talk about going to visit someone who had been dead for years.............
“Kinda like forgetting that your one night stand with a gal resulted in a STD and a case of the crabs then running into her in a bar and asking her out again.......bad memories are there for a reason. LOL!”
I’m a grandma. I was thinking more along the lines of not taking one of my kids to the doctor as soon as I should have or bad dates I had in high school. I must say, your example is more colorful. :-)
It’s like a lousy filing system. What made sense to you when an event happened may not be obvious to you when you need to recall the event.
.....The ability to now erase the memory of when our country was great????? ?
As my own awareness of some “senior moments” has increased with age, I have looked for and found a method to improving my “filing system”, as you call it.
When younger, we were often able to do any number of very small tasks all day and almost automatically and did not frequently lose things - the “filing system” worked without 100% active conscious effort.
But, not so easily with age.
BUT, I have found that if, in my daily activities, I make an active and deliberate conscious statement to myself (only needs to be in my head, I don’t have to speak it out loud) of what I am doing when I do it (as in: “I’m setting the keys here”), and do so most importantly with the smaller tasks (most inclined to be done automatically too), then I pretty much forget nothing.
My “filing system” works better, when I very actively participate in it. I think this was less essential at a younger age.
I do that (say it out loud) to remember where I parked at the grocery store. As I am walking in, I say, “come out the ‘pharmacy’ door, next row to the right, facing the high school.” Seems to work. But I am young enough I should maybe remember better without that crutch?
Yes, some “old age” memory issues find us with a short term memory deficit but recall of long forgotten events from an earlier age in life; sometime they are events the person has not recalled since they can’t remember when. I figure the loss of one - short term - and gain of the other = long hidden - must be related.
One thing at a time. Easy does it. Slow down. Hey! Dear ol' dad was right.
He would remember stuff from his youth and talk about going to visit someone who had been dead for years.............
My FIL had an excellent memory for minute details from his youth even into his 90s, when senility set in and he could not remember what someone had just said to him.
I often think that perhaps those old memories were just recorded when all of the equipment was in top shape and, therefore, stored on the hard drive perfectly. The later memory storage is compromised by equipment failure. Perhaps a shortage in these enzymes is the main culprit.
The younger you are, the less you have on your mind. Children are very "in the moment" because it's all new to them. They don't have jobs and bills and relationships and taxes and houses and cars and kids and politics and health issues to distract them from what they happen to be doing. Given the many levels of consciousness we operate on, it's a wonder anyone over 40 can remember anything.
I ‘discovered’ how important NOT operating on automatic and NOT giving in to distractions is when it became a big issue with me, to figure out how I left the keys to an apartment I was staying in in the key-hole, on the outside of the outside door, after I locked it; and left them there an entire weekend while I (and everyone else) was away.
I had a near heart attack when I was about to return to the apartment three days later and could not find the keys or remember what I had done with them. Fortunately it all turned out O.K. The keys were right where I left them and no one had entered the apartment with them either. Our closest neighbor, whose door is only a few feet away, had gone in and out a number of times over the weekend and even she had not noticed my keys in the lock. (And security getting into the building is fairly good too.)
BUT, for me, the seriousness of WHAT I forgot, and WHERE I forgot it, led me to try to figure out HOW I forgot it.
And yes, I finally recalled there was a tiny brief moment of distraction, after I locked the dead-bolt lock on the door, when a neighbor in the corner apartment next door opened her door to give me a brief greeting. My hand left the keys in the door, as we greeted each other with a hug, and I wound up leaving the building without ever retrieving the keys - for three days.
I then began my regimen of “talking to myself”, in my head, as I do all “the little stuff” and believe at this time I do not have either small memory lapses or “absentmindedness” or plain “forgetfulness”.
Darn it; there was something else I meant to tell you. Oh well. (ha ha).
No, I don’t think what you cite, in the circumstances is a crutch, in a young age, or when “old”. The context involves not just “memory” but “mapping” of the physical context (the parking lot) as well.
We all have different physical mapping abilities - making a mental map of some physical layout in some context of an event.
Some of us (like me) can go some place once and not go there again until years later and yet not need a map or directions to do it (having great internal map making and mapping memory ability). Some of us need either the map or the directions, at least until it becomes a frequent and regular trip.
But, the “parking lot” experience is a varied experience each time - we don’t park in the exact same spot every time. So, speaking the directions to ourselves in that instance might be quite normal. (in my oh so un-expert opinion).
I try, when I think I need to, to use some single landmark either near to my car, or that sits at the horizon of the view when looking back toward my car from the entrance to the building. When I exit the building I look toward that landmark and remember where I left my car in relation to it.
In some big parking lots, like at airports, the light-posts are numbered and I’ll simply write down a landmark light-post number on something; and then usually the best place to write it down IS on the parking-exit ticket itself.
Ha, ha, very good!
I would like to remember the 80’s.