Scientists find drug to banish bad memories

Published: 3 July 2007
In a new study, revealed in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, psychiatrists at McGill and Harvard used an amnesia drug, propanolol, to "dampen" the memories of trauma victims. Prof. Karim Nader of McGill said, "When you remember old memories they can become 'unstored' and then have to be 'restored.' As the memory is getting restored, we gave patients a drug that turns down the emotional part of the memory. It left the conscious part of the memory intact, so they could still remember all the details but without being overwhelmed by the memory." The research suggests memories can be manipulated because they act as if made from glass, existing in a molten state as they are being created, before turning solid. When the memory is recalled, however, it becomes molten again and so can be altered before it once more resets.
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