Researchers at UC Irvine have discovered the ability to create lasting memories is linked to a newly discovered process: an enzyme blocking the release of of a gene called Period1 in the hippocampus of our brains. When we're young, turning this gene on is easy but as we get older this becomes harder.
In each cell in our body there is 6 feet of DNA. As we age this spooled up length of DNA becomes less flexible (like our joints, eh?). This stiffness in our DNA is due to a "molecular brake pad" called HDAC3 that has become over-active in the aged brain and is compacting DNA too much and blocks the release of Period1.
Removing the HDCA3 restores the flexibility and allows internal cell machinery to access Period1 to begin to form new memories.
New drugs that target HDCA3 could allow older persons to improve memory formation !