By Laura Shin
Posting in Science
Want to erase a bad memory? There's a pill for that.
"Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life," wrote Oscar Wilde, and that seems to have happened with an experiment that reduced people's ability to recall bad memories.
Just like in the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the drug metyrapone prevented the brain from recording the negative emotions that come with painful memories in a study at the University of Montreal.
In the experiment, 33 men learned a story that contained both neutral and negative aspects. Three days later, they were divided into three groups with one group taking one dose of metryapone, another group taking a double dose and the last group taking a placebo.
The subjects were then asked to remember the story, and four days later, when the medicine had left their bodies, the researchers tested their memory recall.
Lead author and University of Montreal doctoral student Marie-France Marin said,
“We found that the men in the group who received two doses of metyrapone were impaired when retrieving the negative events of the story, while they showed no impairment recalling the neutral parts of the story,” Marin said.
They believe metyrapone works by depressing the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone involved in memory recall, in the brain. By lowering the amount of cortisol when a negative event is recalled, metyrapone appears to permanently impair the person's ability to remember its painful aspects.
Aside from being the dream pill for anyone who has ever suffered heartbreak, metyrapone has the potential to help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Our findings may help people deal with traumatic events by offering them the opportunity to ‘write-over’ the emotional part of their memories during therapy,” Marin said. However, the promise of metyrapone is only in the very early stages of testing.
One challenge is that the drug -- normally used to diagnose adrenal insufficiency -- is no longer commercially available. But it may spur research with other drugs that decrease cortisol levels.
[via Popular Science]
photo: Maggie Smith
May 31, 2011
Something tells me that the majority of posters don't know anything about PTSD and don't know anyone with it either. I also doubt the majority of you closely read the article. This isn't about merely taking a pill to forget something you did and KNOW you shouldn't have done. This isn't about taking a pill to forget some "godawful" movie. This is a small but hopeful step toward preventing PTSD - one of the most disabling mental illnesses - an illness that occurs when our body's more ancient parts react in a no longer appropriate way to the modern world and which from there mushrooms into what can rapidly become a life of hell on earth all from a comparatively brief event. People with PTSD have some of the highest rates of substance abuse, attempted suicide and disability due to their illness. Speaking as someone who has PTSD, if this medication had been around at the time of the event that pushed me over the edge into PTSD, I'd happily have taken it just for the hopes of preventing PTSD. I most certainly wouldn't deny it to anyone in a situation where PTSD is a realistic risk of whatever they've suffered. Living a tragedy once and going through recovery once is enough. Living it repeatedly for the rest of your life is something no one should ever have to do. If a pill can prevent it, let people take it if they want to do so once we have reasonable knowledge of the safety of the medication (i.e. can it cause cancer or whatever).
How about finding your first born dead in his grib and picking him up trying to help when you can see your helpless to do anything.I wish I could forget that moment in time.And just remember Him the way he was.It's not made me any better.And there are thing's to always remind me.So yes for the young men and women coming back from war and the people who have went through so much growing up This could be a good treatment if used correctly.
Consider those who, once coming back from war suffer from PTSD and are never "themselves" again. Many not even able to be useful, functioning individuals in our society. Consider those who suffer from abuse at hands of parent, spouse, family member. If their pain stops them from "living" then this discovery can be a viable way to health and life again.
a number of the benzo's posses profound retrograde and/or anterograde amnesia. Some are better at one over the other, but judiciously used, one can prevent unwanted memories from being formed in the first place.
if i am to forget the pain i had in my life, how could i face today when it was because of yesterday's pain that made what i am today, which i think i am better person now. physical pain is an indication that there is something wrong and somehow we do not want to live with pain however, life becomes wonderful if you know how to deal with your pain. maybe initially we have to define pain.
This herb is kown to give pleasing effect in the people is known to vaidyas in India for centuries. The pill was never prepared from it because they loved the nature most. They prioritised healing by nature and never worked for fame. Thanks, this adds to peolple's knowledge and awareness.
Physical pain is a signal, an alert: something is wrong! Find the cause and resolve it, do not just remove the pain! Emotional pain is a integral part of our lives, our experiences: We are who we are through what we lived, what we experienced, what we enjoyed, what we suffered. Live through your pain and be thankful that (if) it made you a better person: more experienced, more compasionate, more understanding... And cherish, enjoy your lovely memories. In Spain they say: "Recordar es vivir!" To remember is to live. (Of course this is a partial truth....)
there is now no doubt on my mind, the NWO as total control over people is coming! imagine if they give this to people through water without them knowing! they can enslave people and nobody would care! What?... that is the way it is right now?... everybody is enslaved and nobody care?... really? aaaaaawww! ok never mind...
I agree. We need a way of quickly recognizing Sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists. For they ar a vexation of the spirit.
Does taking this pill mean that if you have "pain" from doing something awful, you can take it and no longer feel the pain, meaning the guilt? If so then we now have socialpathy in a pill. Science marches on, in this case with goosesteps.
I take it that you don't use pain relievers for headaches and such? When going to the dentist you tell him "that's OK, I don't need the Novocain, this'll make me a better person." For the guy who needs heart surgury, just tell the doctor "he doesn't really need that anesthesia, he needs to just get over the pain and learn to be more compassionate anyway". What you and many others here don't understand about PSTD is that this emotional pain is an out of control, dibilitating pain that is so overwelming it interferes with the very act of trying to sort it out mentally so that it can be overcome. It really is on a comparable level to the physical pain I referenced here to those who suffer from it. It has NOTHING to do with lack of understanding, compassion or avoiding responsibility for one's actions (like a girl who ended up with PSTD as a result of being raped and beaten is responsible for her condition?) and everything to do with being subject to emotional and or physical trauma that was beyond that individual's capacity to deal with at that time resulting in a mental breakdown.
Do you believe you need trauma and severe pain to experience any joy? Or are you talking about the small stuff?
If or saw horrific things as people who go to war or live through disaster and crime do, you would not think it's a cowards convenience. "A person who has lived a safe and sheltered life that others fought for and one lives a life mostly the luck of birth supplied, might have no frame of reference to understand trauma, pain or many other realities." ( Those Who Know)
AIDING THOSE WITH PTS DISORDER MAKES ONE A COWARD?AS WITH ALL MEDICINE IT MUST BE USED AS PART OF AN OVERALL TREATMENT PLAN.COWARDS ARE THOSE WHO DO NOT SEEK HELP , WE MUST STOP LABELING PEOPLE.WHEN YOU HAVE SURGERY THE MEDICATIONS GIVEN HELP YOU TO FORGET THE EVENT.WOULD YOU WANT TO REMEMBER ALL THE PAIN IN YOUR LIFE?
If you have a problem recognizing two of the three then maybe you need a different kind of help. Sociopaths can be difficult to spot as they act like chameleons in society and tend to wreak havoc subliminally. Psychopaths, however, (I've had the misfortune of meeting a few) don't hide. It's just that people don't do anything about them(out of fear) until it's too late. Narcissists(I think the least harmful) tell the world exactly who they are and what they expect and their number one fan of course is themselves. I have a best friend who is a narcissist in the true clinical sense. Because I accept him I have no problem. You don't need to feed their ego as they can do that all on their own.