• Sweden edition
 

Swedish researchers reveal key to forming lasting memories

Published: 10 Nov 2009 08:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Nov 2009 08:30 GMT+01:00

“We are constantly being swamped with sensory impression,” Professor Lars Olson, who led the study, said in a statement.

“After a while, the brain must decide what’s to be stored long term. It’s this mechanism for how the connections between nerve fibers are altered so as to store selected memories that we’ve been able to describe.”

Short-term memories occur as a result of chemical changes caused by altered signaling between different nerve cells in the brain, a process which is relatively well understood.

But scientists are less certain about how the brain converts sensory impressions into lasting memories, which are then stored in the cerebral cortex.

The researchers discovered that signaling via the nerve membrane’s nogo receptor 1 (NgR1) receptor molecule plays a key role in the formation of long-term memories.

When nerve cells are activated, the gene for NgR1 is switched off, leading the team to believe that this inactivation might be important in the creation of long-term memories.

Using genetically modified mice with an extra NgR1 gene that could remain active even when the normal NgR1 was switched off, Olson and his team were able to switch the animal’s ability to form lasting memories on and off by adding a substance to their drinking water.

“We found that the ability to retain something in the memory for the first 24 hours was normal in the genetically modified mice,” said Olson.

“However, two different memory tests showed that the mice had serious difficulties converting their normal short-term memories to long-term ones, the kind that last for months.”

The scientists hope that their findings will help in the development of new treatments for a variety of conditions which affect people’s memory, including those related to Alzheimer's and strokes.

Medicines which target the NgR1 receptor system, for example, could improve the brain’s ability to form long-term memories.

The research was conducted in collaboration with American researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:47 November 10, 2009 by zircon
"Pickabar, pickabar, what was that again? I'm sure it means something, but I can't remember why... OH Yeah, now I remember... Pick up Bart from school..." The Simpsons, one episode. Good study!
21:44 November 10, 2009 by Nemesis
Another sucess for Swedish science. The Karolinska does it again.

The research in the Karolinska is world class and goes from strength to strength. I hope there sucess continues.
01:17 November 11, 2009 by code850
The journal PNAS who published these results has lost and still loosing its credibility. It is even the subject of jokes for serious scientist. It is difficult to say whether Karolinska 'has done it again', because the success of an institute should be estimated taking into account the amount of rubish research and misleading papers produced. Since there is no serious statistics on this issue we can not say well done karolinska institute.
13:25 November 12, 2009 by Nemesis
@ code850,

So I should judge american institutes by there publications in PNAS.

Thank you for informing me that all major US institutions are basically a joke.

The Karolinska researchers regularly publich in the journals Nature and Science. The Karolinska is one of the most respected insitutes on the entire planet, for very good reason. It is world class.

If you have an issue with Swedish researchers, why are you in Sweden?

@ zircon

The Simpsons are nothing to do with publishing research papers in scientific journals.
Today's headlines
Woman suffers cardiac arrest while giving birth
Photo: Tomas Oneborg/TT

Woman suffers cardiac arrest while giving birth

A 30-year-old woman went into cardiac arrest while giving birth at a Stockholm clinic - without hospital staff noticing that anything was wrong. She remains in a critical condition on Friday. READ  

Champions League
History repeats for Malmö fifty years later
Striker Magnus Eriksson during Malmö's 3-0 win over Salzburg in a Champions League qualifier. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

History repeats for Malmö fifty years later

Malmö's entry into the Champions League serves as a reminder of times gone by in European football. With Spain's champions bound for Sweden things just couldn't be better, writes contributor Lee Roden. READ  

Elections 2014
Löfven promises jobs to 50,000 young Swedes
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Löfven promises jobs to 50,000 young Swedes

Social Democrat party leader Stefan Löfven announced on Friday his "most important election promise", a 90-day job guarantee programme for young Swedes. READ  

 Sweden to buy fighter jets despite Swiss pullout
The Jas Gripen fighter aircraft. File photo: Wikimedia

Sweden to buy fighter jets despite Swiss pullout

Sweden said Friday it would go ahead with the purchase of a new generation of Saab Gripen fighter jets, despite Switzerland pulling out of a major co-financing deal. READ  

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three people are in hospital after they were stabbed during what police suspect was a gang-related attack in Umeå. READ  

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm police rushed to the scene when a worried Swede reported that their neighbours were the victim of a break-in - but when officers arrived, they found nothing but a ninja in the middle of practice. READ  

Elections 2014
Liberals hint at bringing back conscription
Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Liberals hint at bringing back conscription

With Russia becoming "all the more aggressive", the Liberal Party leader and education minister, Jan Björklund, has suggested that Sweden may have to reintroduce conscription. READ  

Swede mauled in bear hunt gone wrong

Swede mauled in bear hunt gone wrong

Roles were reversed in a bear hunt on Thursday night, when a Swedish hunter was attacked by his prey, leaving the man in hospital in a serious condition. READ  

How immigration became a key election issue
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

How immigration became a key election issue

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt sparked a furore with recent comments that put rising refugee costs in focus before the elections. But why did he bring it up, and will it affect the outcome? READ  

 Saab carmaker fails in bid for receivership
Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Saab carmaker fails in bid for receivership

A Swedish court has rejected a request from the Chinese-owned automaker NEVS, which owns the financially-troubled Swedish brand Saab, to be placed in receivership until it could attract new financing. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

753
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se