The memory of fear better understood

France - Le journal du CNRS details the discovery of an international team of researchers was able to demonstrate that our memory of fear is encoded in a specific network of neurons.

Dr. Bontempi, co-author of the study, explains that some neurons are activated when we think about an event that's scary. he fact that the neurons overproducing protein CREB are implied in the memory of the fear was known, but the process had not been identified yet precisely

The team of Dr. Bontempi made a "genetic" specific by inserting a portion of the gene for DNA protein CREB, the gene for a fluorescent protein and a substance that makes neurons sensitive to the toxin of diphtheria. Construction was established in the brain of mouse, being integrated perfectly into the operation of the animal.

The fluorescent protein made it possible to locate the neurons where protein CREB reacts, and thus identify which neurons in the lateral amygdala of the brain are activated wat the time of the memory of the fear. Result: in fact well the neurons overproducing protein CREB leave the print of a fear in the memory.

In the long term, this discovery could help develop treatments that can erase traumatic memories or anxiety in a selective manner, especially for people with post-traumatic stress related to a serious accident or attack. But the research only started, said Dr. Bontempi.

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