Gene therapy can enhance learning and memory in animalsA gene has been designed by neuroscientists at the Stanford University that can enhance learning and memory abilities in animals under stress. The Stanford team remarked that experimental technique could one day lead to new forms of gene therapy possible of reducing the severe neurological side effects of steroids that are prescribed to millions of patients with arthritis, asthma and other illnesses.

Robert Sapolsky, co-author of the study and neuroendocrinologist, said steroids can mess up the brain part involved in cognition and judgment.

Sapolsky, the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor of Biological Sciences and a professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford, has conducted numerous experiments on the damaging physiological effects of stress and has written extensively on the subject.