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#164678 - 07/04/07 12:33 AM Do you have a really bad memory, or past heartache
mogigo Offline
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Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Do you have a really bad memory, or past heartache, that you would prefer to forget?


Researchers at Harvard and McGill University (in Montreal) are working on an amnesia drug that blocks or deletes bad memories. The technique seems to allow psychiatrists to disrupt the biochemical pathways that allow a memory to be recalled.


In a new study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, the drug propranolol is used along with therapy to "dampen" memories of trauma victims. They treated 19 accident or rape victims for ten days, during which the patients were asked to describe their memories of the traumatic event that had happened 10 years earlier. Some patients were given the drug, which is also used to treat amnesia, while others were given a placebo.


A week later, they found that patients given the drug showed fewer signs of stress when recalling their trauma.


Similar research led by Professor Joseph LeDoux has been carried out at New York University on rats; scientists were able to remove a specific memory from the brains of rats while leaving the rest of the animals' memories intact. An amnesia drug called U0126 was administered.


The rats were trained to associate two musical tones with a mild electrical shock so that when they heard either of the tones they would brace themselves for a shock. The researchers then gave half the rats the drug when playing one of the musical tones.


After the treatment, the rats that had been given the drug no longer associated that particular tone with an imminent shock but still braced themselves upon hearing the second tone, demonstrating only one memory had been deleted.






Edited by mogigo (07/04/07 12:37 AM)
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#164719 - 07/04/07 10:42 AM Re: Do you have a really bad memory, or past heartache [Re: mogigo]
EGL Offline
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Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hmmmm....that's kind of creepy. As bad as the memories are, I'm not sure I would want to have them erased from my memory, since I see them as part of what formed me. It's kind of like it would just be a form of denial.

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#164729 - 07/04/07 11:53 AM Re: Do you have a really bad memory, or past heartache [Re: EGL]
mogigo Offline
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Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
My thought was, since I had buried alot of my bad experiences and they still had such an impact on my thinking, would erasing the memory change the behavior. Probably not. I don't think it's the actual memory that affects me. It was my body and mind's trauma that shaped my behavior and thinking. It would almost have to be erasing the emotions I had rather than the memory.

Mike

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#164736 - 07/04/07 12:35 PM Re: Do you have a really bad memory, or past heartache [Re: mogigo]
WalkingSouth Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
My initial reaction is one word... "dangerous"

I'll let it settle in for a while and see if my reaction changes...

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#164752 - 07/04/07 03:16 PM Re: Do you have a really bad memory, or past heartache [Re: WalkingSouth]
Brokenhearted Offline
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Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Doesn't history have an advantage of repeating itself if we don't remember? It would be awful to become vulnerable to the same situation again without knowing why.

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It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
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#164805 - 07/04/07 09:15 PM Re: Do you have a really bad memory, or past heartache [Re: Brokenhearted]
selene Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/06
Posts: 221
Loc: midwest
... i don't know how propranolol works ... it reminds me of how a few+ decades ago they used the "amnesia drug" scopolamine for women giving birth ... they had all the pain but didn't remember much, apparently ...

... but i know i forgot my own abuse ... literally forgot it until the abuser mentioned it to me again (to thank me for not telling my parents) ... it still wreaked havoc on my life ... probably more so when i didn't remember ... it was when i did remember that i started healing from it ...

... "forgetting" sounds like a bad idea to me ...

selene

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#168679 - 07/24/07 06:07 AM Re: Do you have a really bad memory, or past heartache [Re: selene]
patch22 Offline
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Registered: 07/24/07
Posts: 25
Loc: Ireland
I came out to my family 3 years ago (aged 50+), having fairly successfully blocked thoughts about abuse etc. for most of my married life. Despite having some therapy, I'm still having some symptoms that I remember well from teens/early 20s when I suffered from what is now known as PTSD. One of them is hypersensitiivity to sounds/sudden movements at times. It sounds trivial, but can build up until I find people talking, etc., hard to bear. So I went to my GP to see if he knew of any drug that might alleviate this & he prescribed proranolol. I'm not sure if it would have worked if I'd persisted, but it had the side effect of making me very tired - presumably because it's designed to alleviate high blood pressure (which I don't have). I just had to stop, otherwise I'd never even have got out of bed.
When I started recovery, my GP prescribed Risperdal for a few days, to curb anxiety. That IS a mind altering drug (used for schizophrenia apparently). It certainly did sort of damp down thoght & memories, but I found this very disturbing. Don't recommend! - worse than having the memories.

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