Activity-Induced DNA Breaks Govern the Expression of Neuronal Early-Response Genes as originally seen in Cell
For you visual people: a “graphical abstract”
Ok, let’s be real. That picture doesn’t explain it to me at all. But if it does to you, great! I just liked the idea that the article had a “graphical abstract.” I had never seen that before on an article. Have you?
But what this article really is about is neuroplasticity at a molecular level. Basically what the article is saying is that when we learn or experience something new, our brain breaks our nerve cells’ DNA in order to induce neuroplasticitic changes. The DNA gets switched around and/or reworked so that the synapses rewire appropriately in response to what you’ve just experienced or learned.
Wow. I mean, I literally just broke my brain and put it back together to learn that! No wonder learning is so tiring! They’re also hypothesizing that the breakdown of this process as we age leads to difficulty with making new memories, learning new things. I would go so far as to hypothesize that perhaps a build up of the proteins involved in the process may contribute to the protein masses being linked to dementia. I have read somewhere that people with more advanced degrees are more likely to have dementia. Maybe that’s why: they learn so much, but their brains’ clean up system can’t keep up with all the left over building material and “saw dust”. So the whole system kinda gets clogged up. Hmmmm….