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ERIC Number: EJ1152922
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0502
Breaking Boundaries: Optimizing Reconsolidation-Based Interventions for Strong and Old Memories
Elsey, James W. B.; Kindt, Merel
Learning & Memory, v24 n9 p472-479 Sep 2017
Recent research has demonstrated that consolidated memories can enter a temporary labile state after reactivation, requiring restabilization in order to persist. This process, known as reconsolidation, potentially allows for the modification and disruption of memory. Much interest in reconsolidation stems from the possibility that maladaptive memory traces--a core feature of several psychiatric conditions--could be tackled by disrupting their reconsolidation. However, research has indicated a range of supposed boundary conditions on the induction of reconsolidation. Stronger memories, often resulting from exposure to stressful conditions, or older memories, appear to be relatively resistant to undergoing reconsolidation. This may be taken as a potential stumbling block for reconsolidation-based interventions: in clinical practice, old and strong maladaptive memories are the norm rather than the exception. Yet, boundary conditions have been derived from limited experimental evidence, are not unique to reconsolidation-based interventions, and do not seem to be absolute. In this paper, we review a range of experimental studies that have aimed to disrupt old memories, or memories that were strengthened by stress manipulations, through reconsolidation. Such research highlights several techniques that could be used to optimize reconsolidation-based approaches and overcome putative boundary conditions. We supplement this review of experimental literature with a case study of a reconsolidation-based treatment of a strong and decades-old phobia for mice, further suggesting that age and strength of memory may not be insurmountable barriers. Translating findings from basic science, to human experiments, to clinical applications and back again, can potentially unlock powerful new treatments for the many people who suffer daily from anxiety disorders.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A