Restoring 'lost memories' may be possible
A new study has revealed that it might be possible now to restore lost memories, as it provided proof contradicting the idea that long-term memory is stored at synapses.
Washington: A new study has revealed that it might be possible now to restore lost memories, as it provided proof contradicting the idea that long-term memory is stored at synapses.
David Glanzman, a UCLA professor of integrative biology and physiology and of neurobiology, said that it was a radical idea, but that's where the evidence leads that the nervous system appears to be able to regenerate lost synaptic connections, so if they can restore the synaptic connections, the memory will come back, which won't be easy, but it was believed that it's possible.
If the prevailing wisdom were true that memories are stored in the synapses the researchers should have found that the lost synapses were the same ones that had grown in response to the serotonin. But that's not what happened: Instead, they found that some of the new synapses were still present and some were gone, and that some of the original ones were gone, too.
Glanzman further mentioned that the research could have significant implications for people with Alzheimer's disease, specifically; just because the disease was known to destroy synapses in the brain doesn't mean that memories are destroyed.
In the later stages of the disease, neurons die, which likely means that the memories cannot be recovered.
The study is published in eLife, a highly regarded open-access online science journal.