The story appears on

Page A5

January 6, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Health and Science

Key found to scary memory

SHANGHAI Fudan University's scientists have found a protein in the brain that plays an important role in the formation of people's darkest memories.

The protein, beta-arrestin-2, provides clues for new drugs that might cure psychological trauma and mental disease caused by wars and disasters, school officials said yesterday.

The findings were published by "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Nature China" last month.

A team led by Ma Lan, a professor at Fudan University's Institutes of Brian Science, did tests on lab rats before they came to the conclusion.

The researchers first gave rats an electric shock as they played a sound. Then they played the sound without the shock and observed whether rats showed fear.

Normal rats were afraid of the sound, while rats whose fear factor had been removed showed no fear.

Scientists believe the protein plays a key role in the formation of horrible memory. Drugs that depress the function of the protein might help people forget big disasters.

Memory is a complicated process that involves acquiring, maintenance, consolidating and re-consolidating.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend