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#275454 - 02/16/09 12:51 AM Medication may one day erase bad memories
Barkabus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 809
Wow, what could this mean for survivors? Somehow I feel this all sounds too good to be true.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29211183/

Medication may help erase bad memories
Study showed a blood pressure pill weakened fear response in subjects
Reuters
updated 12:46 p.m. PT, Sun., Feb. 15, 2009
LONDON - A widely available blood pressure pill could one day help people erase bad memories, perhaps treating some anxiety disorders and phobias, according to a Dutch study published on Sunday.

The generic beta-blocker propranolol significantly weakened people's fearful memories of spiders among a group of healthy volunteers who took it, said Merel Kindt, a psychologist at the University of Amsterdam, who led the study.

"We could show that the fear response went away, which suggests the memory was weakened," Kindt said in a telephone interview.

The findings published in the journal Nature Neuroscience are important because the drug may offer another way to help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems related to bad memories.

Traditionally, therapists seek to teach people with such disorders strategies to build new associations and block bad memories. The problem, Kindt said, is the memories remain and people often relapse.

Animal studies have shown that fear memories can change when recalled, a process known as reconsolidation. At this stage they are also vulnerable to beta-blockers like propranolol, which target neurons in the brain, the researchers said.

Kindt and her team's experiment included 60 men and women who learned to associate pictures of spiders with a mild shock. This experience created a fearful memory, the researchers said.

Other participants saw the same picture but did not receive an electrical shock. For these people this established a "safe" association without a fear response or bad memory.


One day later people given the drug had a greatly decreased fear response compared with people on the placebo when shown the picture and given a mild shock, the researchers said.

"There was no difference to the fear spider and the safe spider," Kindt said. "This shows it is possible to weaken the underlying memory by interfering with it."

The next steps are to look at how long the drug's effects on memory last, and testing the treatment in people who actually are suffering from some kind of disorder or phobia, Kindt said.

Copyright 2009 Reuters. Click for restrictions.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29211183/

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#275459 - 02/16/09 01:12 AM Re: Medication may one day erase bad memories [Re: Barkabus]
LN3(SS) Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD
It is too good to be true. The British have been using this for years to treat stage fright. The trade name is Inderal. My personal experience with it was that it is a weak anti-anxiety drug.

Brian

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#275460 - 02/16/09 01:27 AM Re: Medication may one day erase bad memories [Re: LN3(SS)]
Barkabus Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 809
I see this news is from London. I wonder why they're making it sound like it is a new breakthrough. Honestly, I really hate how medical/science news is so recklessly handled by the media much of the time.

Thanks Brian.

Mike

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#275548 - 02/16/09 06:06 PM Re: Medication may one day erase bad memories [Re: Barkabus]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2466
Loc: UK
my memories give me nightmares, stop me from sleeping, and hold me back from functioning properly

i dont want nightmares, i want to sleep, i want to function properly

but i wouldn't want to get rid of my memories, it happened, that wont change, it happened, and i have developed in certain ways because of it, i wouldn't agree to wipe my memories, i just need to learn to control them instead of them controling me

and that would be up to me

although i understand why some people would choose to have such a helping hand

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#275557 - 02/16/09 07:53 PM Re: Medication may one day erase bad memories [Re: king tut]
Barkabus Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 809
Well said Lewis. I agree. Our memories are an integral part of who we are. The good and the bad. I spent 30 years forgetting/denying what occurred to me and I swear there are still more hidden memories. It isn't the memories that are harmful to us, it is our inability to process and deal with them in a healthy manner. I think I would rather process them and come to terms with all the evil crap and come out on top than blurring the memories out of existence.

Mike

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#275586 - 02/16/09 11:14 PM Re: Medication may one day erase bad memories [Re: Barkabus]
Bewlayb1 Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 243
Loc: NYC
I agree. I never want to forget. Wouldn't it be easier, for everyone, if we could pretend things like that never happen? I'd rather know how tragic the world can be than willingly live a delusion because it's easier.

The damage is there, whether or not the memories continue to haunt me. Sometimes, the memories make me crumble. Sometimes, they inspire me to write. Sometimes, they give me anger and strength. In a way, they are always precious to me. It's strange. I guess Barkabus is right. My past is a part of my identity. If you took it away, I'd still be a shell of a person, but I'd have no understanding of why.


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#275608 - 02/17/09 05:24 AM Re: Medication may one day erase bad memories [Re: Bewlayb1]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 862
Loc: washington
From what I see,

This drug doesn't erase bad memories, it just helps and weakens bad memories.

I personally have taken every anti-depressant on the market, some have radically helped me to function a whole lot better...and yet, the side effects are so great...I couldn't function at work (gastro,blurry vision,dehydration/cottonmouth etc...).

So my first concern is personal side effects, (not to be confused with the...May cause: list from hell, found on the side of the package).


island

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#275765 - 02/18/09 05:12 AM Re: Medication may one day erase bad memories [Re: 1islandboy]
jesusstrength Offline


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 18
Loc: USA
Ah, you guys made me remember something! Showtime's show "This American Life" had a show on a test done on rats that actually worked. The episode is called "Pandora's Box"

http://www.sho.com/site/video/brightcove...ctid=1338246413

http://www.thislife.org/TV_Episode.aspx?episode=6

http://blogs.nature.com/news/blog/2007/03/wipe_out_a_single_memory.html



Edited by jesusstrength (02/18/09 05:23 AM)

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#276726 - 02/23/09 06:29 AM Re: Medication may one day erase bad memories [Re: jesusstrength]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303
There's been a show on t.v. called "A Life in Memory".

The blood pressure med. doesn't erase memory, it decreases the emotional attachment/impact of memories.

At least that's my understanding. There are other hormones that do the same thing, like oxytocin. But the high blood pressure med. has been in use for 40 years, so there's been lots of time to see the side effects -- which are extremely few -- it's very safe.

And from what I've read about it, it's not being touted as the magic bullet. It's being put forward as something that will allow therapy to move forward in cases where a person just can't reduce the effects of being overwhelmed by traumatic memories through the use of therapy alone. It's not being put forward as something that should replace therapy.

Katie


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#276729 - 02/23/09 08:05 AM Re: Medication may one day erase bad memories [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303
Again, there's a difference between lessening the emotional impact of a memory and erasing memories.

We can recall a math formula without being overly invested in numbers emotionally.

That's all these drugs do. They don't erase memories of the math formula.

If we are too overly invested emotionally in a math formula, then it makes it more difficult to learn other things. These drugs only help put traumatic memories into a more working emotional context so that we can learn to build new associations, ie, more easily learn new things - more easily make new associations in regard to things that are more related to the here and now.

But they don't erase the memories, they just make the memories more fluid, more like how other memories work.

Again, this is my understanding.

I find these drugs a possibly really great thing. The media shouldn't be confusing helping make traumatic memories work more like other memories with some scary Big Brother Dragon Drug that erases memories all together.

Katie


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