DNA-Modified Enzyme to Boost Memory and Destroy Anxiety
By Ricky Elmer
If you suffer from anxiety, we may have some good news for you.
Scientists have discovered new treatment approaches for those who have anxiety disorders.
A group of neurobiologists – led by Prof. Dr. Hilmar Bading – discovered that the protein Dnmt3a2 is able to improve memory performance in mice. It is greatly hoped that this protein will be able to help those who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders, due to its effect on the mind’s ability to erase bad memories and ease the stress of fear.
The study was performed at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences of Heidelberg University, Germany and was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
In a previous study, it was also discovered that levels of Dnmt3a2 in older mice are lower than average. Prof. Bading explained, “Now we have found that increasing the Dnmt3a2 level in the brains of younger mice also boosts their cognitive ability.” Cognitive abilities are how you are able to perform any task from the most complex to the simplest.
In basic terms, by increasing levels of a particular DNA-modified enzyme located in the brain, cognitive ability can be remarkably improved.
There were a number of tests done on long-term memory, including the classic Pavlovian conditioning, in which they were successful in demonstrating that the mice, which have higher levels of Dnmt3a2, were able to perform notably better.
Being an epigenetic regulator – meaning that it has the ability to influence gene expression – Dnmt3a2 can modify genetic materials. This results in a change of production rates for certain proteins. This protein is able to consolidate memory and rid your mind of fear through gene transcription. This is the process in which genetic information is transferred to RNA (ribonucleic acid, which is present in all living cells).
“We found that mice with a higher Dnmt3a2 level in the brain were able to erase the associations between a specific place and a painful stimulus with far greater efficiency,” Prof. Bading stated. “Erasure” experiments were also performed utilizing similar methods to confrontational therapy in patients. This is a therapy that is used in treating PTSD, the aim being to completely erase, or just interrupt, disturbing associations.
Momentum in the treatment of cognitive impairment has been gained by these findings of the Heidelberg neuroscientists. Prof. Bading continues, “They could be used to develop new medications to improve memory in senile dementia or in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.”
Potential new treatments for anxiety disorders may already be in the workings. New medications can potentially be created to increase activity or the production of the enzyme could possibly be combined with confrontational therapy.
Either way, this is great news for those of us who suffer from PTSD or anxiety disorders. If a medication is found that can more effectively help these ailments, many people’s lives can become much better.
Rick Elmer is a freelance writer from Texas who enjoys learning about health and nutrition while striving to make the world a better place. He is passionate about music, meditation, art, traveling the world and helping those around him.
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