Volume 87 Issue 36 | p. 52 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 7, 2009

Neurochemical Net Traps Bad Memories

As rats mature, formation of a sugar-based matrix around nerve cells in the brain makes traumatic memories impossible to forget
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: memory, neuroscience, PTSD

Traumatic memories are hard to shake and can become intrusive, leading to conditions such as anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. An international research team has now discovered a possible explanation for the lasting power of painful memories by taking a close chemical look at rat behavior (Science 2009, 325, 1258). As in humans, traumatic memories persist in adult rats. But in young rats, such memories can be erased. Andreas Lüthi of Friedrich Miescher . . .

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