Permanently removing from the beginning of traumatic memories, including the unfinished love of an ex, is no longer a distant matter for us, after scientists have found a way to influence the psychoactive cells. sutra for enhancing or deleting single memories.
Scientists generally believe that emotional memories are tied to the amygdala in the brain, although the mechanisms that control memory remain mysterious in many respects.
In a new study, experts at Stony Brook University (USA) have examined the basic memory mechanism in mice. They manipulated acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain, acting as a signaling mechanism involved in memory.
Acetylcholine is transported to the amygdala by cholinergic neurons. In it, cholinergic neurons are located at the brain stem and are thought to enhance emotional memories when increased in the amygdala.
To model certain regions of cholinergic neurons, the researchers used light to control cells in living tissue, a method known as optogenetics. “Memories of peak emotional experiences are particularly powerful, whether negative or positive. Our goal is to determine whether the hidden mechanisms behind memory enhancement”, explains Dr. Lorna Role, dean of the Department of Neurology and alkaline behavior, co-executive director of the Neuroscience Institute at Stony Brook School of Medicine.
Role and colleagues found that when acetylcholine release increases in the amygdala as a traumatic memory develops, the memory is enhanced, lasting twice as long as normal. In contrast, when the acetylcholine signaling was reduced during a traumatic experience, the researchers were able to eliminate that memory entirely.
Researchers hope their discovery could one day help develop new ways to enhance pleasant memories in people with dementia or even reverse stress disorders. post-traumatic psychology.
The second finding is astonishing, Role says, because we essentially created fearless mice by manipulating acetylcholine circuits in the brain. The findings could provide ground for researching new ways to reverse post-traumatic stress disorders.
However, Dr. Role admits there will be some challenges. For example, cholinergic neurons are mixed with other types of nerve cells and are much less numerous than them in number. And since acetylcholine is a natural mechanism, future research will have to focus on non-pharmacological (non-drug) treatments.