Restoring memories might be possible after all, thanks to a group of researchers in California. Specifically, the researchers believe that they have found significant differences in the theories that have proven to be popular and dominant thought process in the world of Alzheimer’s care and treatment, as well as how the disease works itself. Neuroscientists have pointed to synapses holding memories, particularly long term memories. But, the researchers seem to have found evidence that contradicts that long standing theory.
David Glanzman, the senior author of the study pointed out that “Long-term memory is not stored at the synapse. That’s a radical idea, but that’s where the evidence leads. The nervous system appears to be able to regenerate lost synaptic connections.”
He goes on to point out that “If you can restore the synaptic connections, the memory will come back. It won’t be easy, but I believe it’s possible.” The team went on to point out that ultimately this would have the greatest impact on those patients with Alzheimer’s disease due to the fact that the disease typically attacks the synapses, and not the memories themselves.
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Glanzman noted that “As long as the neurons are still alive, the memory will still be there, which means you may be able to recover some of the lost memories in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.” For those with the debilitating disease it’s big news, and even for the science community as a whole – it’s exceedingly exciting news. Understanding now that the synapses may not necessarily hold the memory but are just the gateway of the memory – gives hope to those who have been impacted by memory loss.
That would mean that the memories are still there, and still intact, it would become a matter of getting that memory back into the flowing part of the brain. Getting the memory moving would be significantly easier than restoring a memory that is entirely gone from the brain. Now scientists can begin the daunting task of further validating this research and allowing it to be expanded to the point of developing techniques for dealing with Alzheimer’s disease as it relates to this research.