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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access December 20, 2013

Memory consolidation — Mechanisms and opportunities for enhancement

  • Netasha Shaikh EMAIL logo and Elizabeth Coulthard


Memory consolidation is the process by which relevant information is selected and transferred from a short-term, fragile state, into a stable, longer term domain from which it can be recalled. Effective memory underpins our ability to carry out everyday activities. When memory consolidation fails, such as in Alzheimer’s disease, the consequences can be devastating. Understanding the neurobiology of memory will help develop treatments for patients with memory loss. Here we describe the myriad processes involved in memory consolidation, including cholinergic and dopaminergic neurotransmission predominantly in hippocampal networks. We discuss established therapies as well as potential novel strategies for boosting cognition. Future approaches to enhancement of memory consolidation include not only pharmacological and neurosurgical treatments, but also lifestyle interventions — for example, modifications to sleep, exercise and diet.

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Published Online: 2013-12-20
Published in Print: 2013-12-1

© 2013 Versita Warsaw

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