Background: Memory is a vital function which declines in different physiological and
pathological conditions such as aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Research in the past has
reported that memory formation and consolidation require the precise expression of synaptic plasticity
genes. However, little is known about the regulation of these genes. Epigenetic modification is now
a well established mechanism that regulates synaptic plasticity genes and neuronal functions
including memory. Therefore, we have reviewed the epigenetic regulation of memory and its
therapeutic potential for memory dysfunction during aging and neurological disorders.
Method: Research reports and online contents relevant to epigenetic regulation of memory during
physiological and pathological conditions have been compiled and discussed.
Results: Epigenetic modifications include mainly DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation,
histone acetylation and methylation which involve chromatin modifying enzymes. These epigenetic
marks change during memory formation and impairment due to dementia, aging and neurodegeneration.
As the epigenetic modifications are reversible, they can be modulated by enzyme
inhibitors leading to the recovery of memory.
Conclusion: Epigenetic modifications could be exploited as a potential therapeutic target to recover
memory disorders during aging and pathological conditions.