Using Drugs to Erase Traumatic Memories

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered the neurochemical process that leads to memory formation, opening up the possibility of developing a pharmaceutical treatment for traumatic memories:

By looking at that process, Huganir and postdoctoral fellow Roger L. Clem discovered a "window of vulnerability" when unique receptor proteins are created. The proteins mediate signals traveling within the brain as painful memories are made. Because the proteins are unstable, they can be easily removed with drugs or behavior therapy during the window, ensuring the memory is eliminated.


Link via MArooned | Image: Columbia Pictures

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As any good psychoanalyst will tell you - there are no painful memories, only painful interpretations of memories. Change the interpretation and remove the pain.
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In order to interrupt the consolidation of memories, you'd have to give them the drug IMMEDIATELY, almost as the traumatic event is actually happening. Once consolidated you wouldn't be able to differentiate the traumatic from the rest of our memories. We don't have the technology yet.

I did a study last year where we were able to isolate the consolidation and retrieval aspects of memory in rats using the radial arm maze. We expected that MDMA would interrupt the consolidation of memory but we actually found that moderate doses improved it in the short term. Interesting...
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Spock's brother tried this with Captain Kirk in "Star Trek V".

As a result, Sybok died, and a powerful false god was nearly released from its millennia of captivity onto an unsuspecting galaxy.

Do we really want to risk that sort of thing?
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@Twist

That's interesting that you mention that, since I've been dealing with something myself along those lines. I do agree that I would rather feel more connected with my consciousness, then feel even more disconnected from it then before.
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