Erasing snail memories

New research from the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests doctors may someday be able to erase memories from individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Megan Scudellari
May 5, 2011

Aplysia californica (marine snail)DIBBERI | WIKIPEDIANew research from the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests doctors may someday be able to erase memories from individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Published in the April 27 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists erased a painful memory in snails by blocking the activity of a single enzyme. First, the team applied an electric shock to snails, then immediately prodded their midsections. Snails retained this memory, later contracting when touched in the same spot. But when the activity of a long-term memory enzyme called PKM Apl III was blocked, the snails no longer cringed when prodded. "The long-term memory is gone," said senior author, David Glanzman in a press release. What's more, "almost all the processes that are involved in memory in the snail also have been shown to be involved in memory in the brains of mammals," he added,...

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