This week the news came out that researchers have found a way to switch memories on and off in rats. The news came from the University of Southern California where Theodore Berger and a team of scientists worked with Wake Forest University on the research.
When I first saw the title it reminded me of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where the main character’s memories were erased in order to forgot lost love. I guess that’s one way of dealing with exes. The movie freaked me out a little bit and I wondered about technology that could do such a thing.
The research into memory switches, though, opens exciting possibilities for dementia sufferers. One of the main issues with dementia is that people forget. With my mom she forgot how to do everyday things like feed and dress herself. Others forget people or memories. It’s emotionally tough for the person with dementia and their loved ones.
If this research continues to show promise and eventually becomes something that is used in humans it would bring a new level of treatment for many. It would mean a restoring of quality of life for a lot of people.
The full article "Restoring Memories, Repairing Damaged Brains" can be found on the USC web site.