Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Memory impairment in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, PTSD, depression: New treatments possible

Date:
April 24, 2014
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
Neuroscientists are zeroing in with increasing certainty on the notion that nonhuman animals have a particular type of memory known as "source memory," long seen as exclusively human. Researchers were also surprised to discover that this type of memory in their animal subjects, in this case rats, also lasted much longer than memories have been known to last in any nonprimate.

Indiana University neuroscientists Jonathon Crystal and Wesley Alford are zeroing in with increasing certainty on the notion that nonhuman animals have a particular type of memory known as "source memory," long seen as exclusively human.

Related Articles


In a new study, discussed in the journal Biology Letters, they were also surprised to discover that this type of memory in their animal subjects, in this case rats, also lasted much longer than memories have been known to last in any nonprimate.

The study could ultimately improve understanding of the biological underpinnings of source-memory impairment in humans and make possible new interventions for memory failure in such conditions as Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's, schizophrenia, PTSD and depression. It also implies that source memory is evolutionarily quite old insofar as it exists in nonhuman animals.

Source memory, Crystal said, refers to the memory of how, where or by what means we acquired a piece of information. For instance, people typically want to remember who told them a certain joke, so they do not retell it to that same person. Or when entering a voting booth, voters may want to remember the source from which they heard a negative story about a candidate, a trusted newspaper or Comedy Central.

Source memory is a key component of the episodic memory that enables us to recall the discrete events, moments, situations that make up the life story we recognize as our own and that connects us to family, friends, community and the larger world. For this reason it is a kind of "holy grail" for researchers looking to pave the way for treating the diseases or disorders that afflict human memory, Crystal said.

"The main objective of this research is to prove that we are tapping into the kind of memory system that really matters to people affected by Alzheimer's disease," he said. "Otherwise we ultimately risk spending billions of dollars on a drug that will help you remember where you last put your reading glasses rather than one which enables you to remember your granddaughter's last visit and the news she shared with you, among other aspects of your life."

The key, Crystal said, is to lay out an experiment in which the rats cannot perform the specific task (of determining which arm in an eight-arm radial maze will replenish with chocolate pellets) without relying on source memory. In doing so, the study also showed that the memory they were measuring in the rat lasted much longer than anyone expected, up to seven days.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. D. Crystal, W. T. Alford. Validation of a rodent model of source memory. Biology Letters, 2014; 10 (3): 20140064 DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0064

Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "Memory impairment in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, PTSD, depression: New treatments possible." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424101558.htm>.
Indiana University. (2014, April 24). Memory impairment in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, PTSD, depression: New treatments possible. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424101558.htm
Indiana University. "Memory impairment in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, PTSD, depression: New treatments possible." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424101558.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins