Drug Tweaks Epigenome to Erase Fear Memories

A hurricane, a car accident, a roadside bomb, a rape — extreme stress is more common than you might think, with an estimated 50 to 60 percent of Americans experiencing it at some point in their lives. About 8 percent of that group will be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. They will have.. read more →

Science In Mind

MIT researchers find a drug that helps erase traumatic memories in mice. For years, neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai has been unraveling the brain circuits that underlie memory, searching for approaches that might be helpful in treating Alzheimer’s disease. In 2007, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist identified an experimental drug that could restore lost memories in mice. Lately,.. read more →

Erasing traumatic memories

New study identifies drug that could improve treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. Nearly 8 million Americans suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition marked by severe anxiety stemming from a traumatic event such as a battle or violent attack. Many patients undergo psychotherapy designed to help them re-experience their traumatic memory in a safe.. read more →

How old memories fade away

Discovery of a gene essential for memory extinction could lead to new PTSD treatments. If you got beat up by a bully on your walk home from school every day, you would probably become very afraid of the spot where you usually met him. However, if the bully moved out of town, you would gradually.. read more →

Histone acetylation: molecular mnemonics on the chromatin

Long-lasting memories require specific gene expression programmes that are, in part, orchestrated by epigenetic mechanisms. Of the epigenetic modifications identified in cognitive processes, histone acetylation has spurred considerable interest. Whereas increments in histone acetylation have consistently been shown to favour learning and memory, a lack thereof has been causally implicated in cognitive impairments in neurodevelopmental.. read more →

Li-Huei Tsai: I well remember

Tsai studies how Cdk5 activity affects brain development, learning, and memory. Cdk5 is a kinase expressed mainly in neurons, where it helps regulate the activity of a whole host of downstream targets, including ion channels and synaptic scaffold proteins. Thus, it’s perhaps to be expected that Cdk5 dysregulation is associated with many neuropathologies. Li-Huei Tsai.. read more →

Re-opening the Memory Book

Following the completion of the Human Genome Project, much of biology’s focus has been shifted from the raw sequence of genes to their regulation over time and in response to environmental stimuli. Like books on a shelf, genes do not exert effects by their mere presence; rather, the pages of the book (i.e., the chromatin).. read more →