The Checkup: Erase Memory, Erase Pain
• It sounds like the stuff of sci-fi movies: stop pain by erasing memories. But that’s just what researchers in Canada are trying to do. They’ve been studying pain memories—the long proven theory that the brain “remembers” painful events, triggering chronic pain at a particular part of the body—to try to unravel how they work at the neuronal level. And they think they’ve figured it out: it has to do with a protein kinase called PKMzeta, which plays a role in how pain memories are stored in the brain. They’ve realized that if they can block the activity of the protein, they can essentially erase or undo the pain memory—poof, like that car accident and whip lash never happened. Pretty neat stuff, no? Read more about the research here.
• Ladies, add smog to the list of things that are hurting us. New research shows that air pollution may contribute to the mental decline of older women. And, ladies, since we have a well-documented smog problem, we’re pretty much doomed.
• Need an on-the-go therapy session? Yup, there’s even an app for that.