Brain processes that could be linked to finding treatments for epilepsy and other memory disorders have been identified by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center researchers, according to a study being released Monday morning.
Their research shows that neurons in the brain long associated solely with the formation of long-term memories also play a role in maintaining short- term memories.
The research team said this is the first clear demonstration of how human brain cells work to create and recall short-term memories.
Impaired short-term memory severely weakens a person’s ability to complete everyday tasks.
Gaining a better understanding of how this works is crucial to developing new treatments for memory disorders, said Dr. Jan Jaminski, a Cedars- Sinai neuroscientist and study’s lead author.
The researchers implanted electrodes in the brains of 13 epilepsy patients to locate the precise source of their seizures. They then studied each patient as they performed a memory test.
These findings are being published online Monday morning and will appear in the April edition of the journal Nature Neuroscience.