Neurons may help reprogram traumatic memories, study shows

July 11, 2018

Traumatic experiences, whether experienced as a child or an adult, can lead to long term effects. Is is all the more apparent for some children, who can subconsciously carry this on to their adulthood.

Researchers from the French institute EPFL showcased their recent findings in successfully treating traumatic memories.

There is an ongoing debate whether there is the suppression of the original memory, or the rewriting of the original one towards safety.

The scientists worked with mice in locating these neurons in the dentate gyrus in the hippocampus, which are involved in storing long-term traumatic memories. The genetically modified mice underwent fear reduction training.

It was found that the neurons active in recalling traumatic memories were still active even when the mice did not display fear. The less afraid they were, the more these cells were active.

This showed that the recall neurons in the region are important in alleviating fear.

This may prove to be hopeful for those individuals suffering from anxiety, PTSD, or other personality disorders. In the meantime, employing relaxation exercises, engaging in enjoyable activities, and going to therapy can help one cope with traumatic memories.

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