More proof that brain cells can relearn after damage
By ParentInProgress on June 25, 2011
The article above is a summary of a new finding on memories and how the brain can re-learn things, even after memories are basically erased.
The structures between brain nerve cells are called synapses. The job of a synapses is essentially to relay messages. The electric signals that relay these messages are either strong or weak.
In this new research, scientists found that the amount of a certain molecule called CaMKII (for short - you know how scientists are!) is what controls how well a memory is stored. Fewer CaMKII means a weaker memory. You can see how this could lead to early intervention for things like Alzheimer's.
The second part of the experiment is even more interesting. The team was able to use a chemical called CN-19 to "erase" a strong memory (by decreasing the amount of CaMKII molecules). But once they re-stimulated the synapse, they found that it could re-learn!
This was all done with part of a rat's brain so it hasn't been applied to humans yet, but if it does, the implications could be huge.
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