Children with brain tumors who undergo radiation less likely to recall recent events
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IMAGE: Both patients and healthy controls recall very old personal memories with similar amounts of detail, whereas patients have difficulty remembering specific episodic details for recently experienced personal events. Right:… view more 

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Credit: credit to Melanie Sekeres, Ph.D.

Children with certain types of brain tumors who undergo radiation treatment are less likely to recall the specifics of events they experienced after radiation than to remember pre-treatment happenings, according to a Baylor University study comparing them to children with healthy brains.

The finding is significant because children after treatment had less volume in the hippocampus — a part of the brain that plays an important role in memory. But while such a decrease usually is associated Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, brain injury, epileptic amnesia, encephalitis and aging, with those conditions both remote and recent memories are impaired, said lead author Melanie Sekeres, Ph.D., director of Sekeres Memory Laboratory at Baylor University.

For the study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers focused on “autobiographical memory,” which is linked to unique personal events and involves the recollection of emotional and perceptual details that allow a person to mentally re-experience the event, said Sekeres, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences.

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