Scientists Find Chemical 'memory' Molecule

TEL AVIV, Israel, July 29 (UPI) — Scientists in Israel say they’ve identified a chemical in the human brain that helps brain cells store new memories and allows them to “stick.”

A study by researchers at Tel Aviv University says a natural molecule occurring in the brain, called Aminobutyric acid, could be the main factor in regulating how many new memories one can generate and permanently store, a university release said Thursday.


Memories are stored in highly variable synaptic connections between neurons in the brain, study leader Dr. Inna Slutsky said, and the variability ultimately determines whether and how memories are stored.

The key to the variability is the naturally occurring GABA, Slutsky said.

Higher concentrations of GABA near a synapse induced a stronger activation of its receptors. As a result, GABA makes this synapse more liable to the formation of new memories, she said.

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