A new study from the University of Groningen, was announced in biology todayindicating that memories created during sleep deprivation are not lost completely, but become more difficult to recall.
Effects of sleep deprivation on memory
researchers know that Lack of sleep is bad for memoryHowever, it was previously unknown whether sleep deprivation-related memory loss is the result of direct amnesia or difficulty with memory retrieval.
sleep and memory – how are they linked?
Researchers believe that memory consolidation – The process by which important memories are preserved and excessive and unimportant memories are discarded – happens while we sleepLack of sleep can affect the accessibility of memories (such as recall and whether they are “lost”) because memories do not consolidate properly.
Prof. Robert Jabequezan associate professor in the neuroscience of memory and sleep, and his team found that memories lost during sleep-deprived learning could be affected by optogenetic approaches or roflumilasta drug used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
What is optogenetics
optogenetics A technique used in neuroscience to combine genetic engineering and light to control neurons.
As an optogenetic approach to reactivate memory, researchers designed light-sensitive proteins that are selectively expressed in neurons activated during learning. This allows you to recall your learning experience when you shine a light on these cells.
Sleep-deprived and well-rested mice performed spatial learning tasks that required learning the locations of several objects. A few days later, the same work was repeated, but one object was moved to a new location. The sleep-deprived mice were unable to detect the change, meaning they were unable to recall the information learned in the first task.
The researchers then shined a light on neurons that were activated during the learning experience, and the sleep-deprived mice were able to recall the original location of the object. It indicates that memory is not lost permanently and requires stimulation to recall.
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Roflumilast targets the same molecular pathways that are activated during memory reactivation. “circleWhen we gave the sleep-deprived-trained mice roflumilast just before the second test, they remembered exactly the same thing that happened with direct stimulation of the neurons,” explains Havekes.
This has cast doubt on whether memories previously thought to be “lost” in conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease can be reactivated in a similar fashion and become permanently accessible.
Havekes aims to continue to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of amnestics and asks: How does roflumilast restore access to these ‘hidden’ memories?”
This article Press release Published by the University of Groningen. The length and content of the material have been redacted.
reference: Borcius YG, Heckmann PRA, Palaciani C, et al. Restoring memory of object locations after sleep-deprivation-induced amnesia. current organism2022. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2022.12.006