Memory loss may be reversed, thanks to cutting-edge brain study
Recent research has found that if neural assemblies in the brain fail to synchronise, memory can be lost, presenting viable targets for therapeutic interventions at the level of neural assembly interactions.
Memory is a fascinating aspect of the human brain and it is essential for our daily lives.
We rely on our memory to learn, remember, and recall important information. However, a recent study conducted by the universities of Bristol and Heidelberg has found that if neural assemblies in the brain fail to synchronise, memories can be lost. In this article, we will explore the key findings of the study and what it means for potential therapeutic interventions for memory restoration.
The study, published in Current Biology, focused on how the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex interact with one another as memories are formed, maintained and recalled at the level of specific groups of neurons. The researchers used brain recordings in rats to show that memory encoding, storage, and recall are supported by dynamic interactions that incorporate multiple neural assemblies formed within and between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.
When the coordination of these assemblies fails, the animals make mistakes.
Dr Michał Kucewicz, the lead author of the study, said that the findings make potential therapeutic interventions for memory restoration more challenging to target in space and time. However, the study also identified critical processes that determine success or failure in remembering, which presents viable targets for therapeutic interventions at the level of neural assembly interactions.
Matt Jones, the senior author of the paper, added that the findings suggest that neural substrates of memory are more distributed in anatomical space and dynamic across time than previously thought based on neuropsychological models.
The next step for the research would be to modulate neural assembly interactions, either using drugs or via brain stimulation, which Dr Kucewicz is currently doing in human patients. The research team presumes the same mechanisms would work in human patients to restore memory functions impaired by a particular brain disorder.
This groundbreaking study sheds new light on how memories are formed and recalled in the brain. The findings suggest that synchronised neural assemblies play a crucial role in memory and present viable targets for therapeutic interventions. As further research is conducted in this field, it is hopeful that potential therapies for memory restoration can be developed to help those with impaired memory functions.
Source: University of Bristol.