Bad memories. All of us want to get rid of them but they keep coming back and haunt us.
What if they vanish? Wouldn’t it be a blessing?
Researchers at MIT are one step closer to eliminate these haunting memories from our lives.Scientists have identified a gene, named Tet1 that plays a significant role in memory extinction and it is said that this gene can provide new treatments post-traumatic stress disorders and addiction.
When the researchers studied the learning behavior of mice with the Tet1 gene compared to similar mice in which it was ‘knocked out’ it revealed that those with Tet1 were able to replace their memories by new information while others were stuck with the old ones. This studywas published in the journal Neuron on Wednesday.
The process by which old memories are replaced with new ones is called memory extinction. Tsai, the Picower Professor of Neuroscience at MIT said that the Tet1 gene apparently controls a small group of other genes necessary for memory extinction. He said, “If there is a way to significantly boost the expression of these genes, then extinction learning is going to be much more active.”
Scientists are now finding ways to amplify Tet1 levels artificially and are experimenting whether it can enhance memory extinction or not.
If it does and they get successful, then imagine what wonders this gene could do.