How does the brain forget?

How does the brain forget?

As people age they may find themselves forgetting bits of the past. For many, this can be a distressing occurrence, but now researchers claim they have identified how the brain both forgets and forms memories.

A study at the Scripps Research Institute claims that the same mechanism that stores memories also gets rid of them.

Ron Davies, leader of the project, stated: "Until now, the basic thought has been that forgetting is mostly a passive process.

"Our findings make clear that forgetting is an active process that is probably regulated."

The discovery was made when monitoring fruit flies' response to an array of different situations and whether they remembered or forgot the incident.

It was found that a small subset of dopamine neurons regulated both the formation and eradication of memories.

The study has important implications for those with dementia and could help doctors help to stimulate the retention of memory.

Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.