Every New Memory You Make Causes Damage To Your Brain Cells, Finds Study

The study is based on analysis of brain data generated by giving mice a mild electric shock.

Every New Memory You Make Causes Damage To Your Brain Cells, Finds Study

This is a major study on brain and storage of memory.

Every time we form a memory, it leaves a lasting impression not just in our minds, but also on the very cells of our brains. The intricate process of memory formation involves the creation and strengthening of connections between neurons, allowing information to be stored and retrieved later. However, this process isn't without its toll on the brain cells involved. A new study has said that process of remembering something long-term causes inflammation on the brain and DNA damage in nerve cells.

The research has been published in Nature.

An international team of researchers carried out some tests on mice for the study and found that these effects take place inside the hippocampus, the part of brain that is known to be the primary storage locker for out memories.

"Inflammation of brain neurons is usually considered to be a bad thing, since it can lead to neurological problems such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease," neuroscientist Jelena Radulovic from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York is quoted as saying by Science Alert.

"But our findings suggest that inflammation in certain neurons in the brain's hippocampal region is essential for making long-lasting memories," the scientist further said.

The mice were given mild electric shocks briefly to trigger their memories. A close analysis of the hippocampal neurons then showed activation of genes in receptor pathways important for inflammatory signalling.

Scientists also found that breaks in DNA took longer than usual to organise and locked themselves for protection against outside forces.

"This is noteworthy because we're constantly flooded by information, and the neurons that encode memories need to preserve the information they've already acquired and not be distracted by new inputs," said Jelena Radulovic.