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Seminar: Prof Johannes Gräff
March 10, 2016 @ 16:00 - 17:30
Recent insights into remote fear memory attenuation
Thursday 10 March @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm (Sherrington Library)
Professor Johannes Gräff from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne will be speaking on how remote fear memories can be persistently attenuated by using histone deacetylase inhibitors during reconsolidation. He has recently published the first research successfully attenuating remote fear responses in an animal model of traumatic memories.
How to attenuate traumatic memories has long been the focus of intensive research efforts, as traumatic memories are extremely persistent and heavily impinge on the quality of life. Despite the fact that traumatic memories are often not readily amenable to immediate intervention, surprisingly few studies have investigated treatment options for remote traumata in animal models. The few that have unanimously concluded that exposure therapy-based approaches, the most successful behavioral intervention for the attenuation of recent forms of traumata in humans, fail to effectively reduce remote fear memories. We have recently described a pharmacological approach, by which even remote fear memories become amenable to attenuation: By combining exposure therapy-like approached with histone deacetylase inhibitors in mice, chromatin-templated neuroplasticity could be reinstated, which resulted in persistent fear reduction on the behavioral level. We are now in the process of investigating the cellular and molecular underpinnings of this finding using a transgenic mouse that allows for the visualization of remote fear memory traces.