Lost Memories Restored in Mice Leaves Hope for Human Potential – In a feat that calls to mind the memory-tweaking technology Science Fiction, a team of researchers restored “lost memories” in the brains of mice.
The mice in the study were given a drug that prevented them from consolidating a fearful memory. But when neurons involved in encoding the memory were stimulated with pulses of light, the animals were able to retrieve the forgotten recollection.
Susumu Tonegawa, director of the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan and co-author of the study said in a statement on some forms of amnesia, past memories are probably not erased, but may just be inaccessible for recall. If this can work for humans, it can help many people suffering from retrograde amnesia, an inability to recall anything that happened prior to their amnesia. This kind of amnesia can occur after a brain injury, in those with Alzheimer’s disease, and other brain disroders.
The study was published on May 28 in the journal Science.