Memory storage in the brain
Researchers have found a complex molecule that determines the strength of synapses resulting in the wellness of the memory. Synapses are the gap between the ends of nerve cells that are the types of fibers involved in the communication between the brain and body.
In a research published in the June 22 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers have pointed out a complex molecule that plays a central role in storage of memory in the brain. Researchers, including Lisman and others, have found that the strength of synaptic junctions play an important role in the strength of memory. Ca/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a molecule that is essential for changing the strength of the synapses. Now Lisman and his team members have found that CaMKII in complexation with NMDAR-type glutamate receptor (NMDAR) , i.e. the CaMKII/NMDAR complex, controls the synaptic strength resulting in the better functioning of the memory.
They researched on rat model and found that persistence of weakening of the synaptic junctions result in erase of the memory at that synapse. They firstly saturate the synapses, by giving strength to the synapses, so that no more memory can be stored in those particular synapses. Then they use the chemical CN-19 to weaken the synapses and found that the memory stored in those synapses also weakened.
References and Further Reading:
Sanhueza, et. al. (2011). Role of the CaMKII/NMDA Receptor Complex in the Maintenance of Synaptic Strength. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(25), 9170-9178.