Apr 11, 2017 07:57 AM EDT
Deleting bad memories from the brain is no more a thing of fiction. A recent study has revealed that it can be possible to erase memories that might haunt people. Researchers are working on this incredible development that can change the face of modern medical science.
According to Mail Online, researchers during the experiments, have targeted the fear-inducing neurons in mice, from where they are looking to wipe out memories of trauma. These neurons are called "engrams", causing the brain to form a memory associated with fear. Scientists say that by removing these targeted neurons, the brain can be spared a specific memory of trauma, fear or depression. This can be done without affecting the other memories.
Reportedly, this mechanism of memory deletion can also be effective to a great extent in curing drug addiction and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). However, this might also lead to a scenario where people will stop learning from their mistakes. Scientists say that they are willing to do the human application of the deletion of bad memories, but not at the cost of ethical implications and considerations.
According to The Telegraph, researchers have successfully been able to turn off the fearful memories in mice to relieve them of trauma. They are now looking to do the same in human pretty soon. Scientists say it can be helpful for people suffering from traumatic events of the past, such as being abused as a child, being the victim of a crime, or related to some kind of accidents. It has been seen that these people generally end up having bad sleep, memory flashbacks and in some cases paranoid behavior as well.
The researchers also discovered that new neurons are generated every six hours in the brain cells in order to capture new memories. As a result, if more than one fearful memory is stored in the neurons within the six hours time period, the memory will be forever stored in the mind within the same brain cells. However, after six hours the memories can be separated after being encoded by another network of brain cells.
Researchers opine that the new technique can give insight upon how memories get disrupted in neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The idea was brought to daylight at the AAAS annual science meeting held in Boston.
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