The drug that promises to curb bad memories

Best Growth Stock – Science seems to be increasingly close to fiction, at least in what refers to get rid of bad memories.

Canada scientists argue that a drug used to treat hormone disorders was able to suppress the bad memories in a group of volunteers.

The compound, say researchers from the center of studies of the stress human of the University of Montreal, Canada, reduces the ability of the brain to record negative feelings associated with bad memories.

This shows, point scientists in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism), that the reports it can be modified once they are stored in the brain.

The drug, called metyrapone, acts by reducing the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that is involved in the memories, explains Dr. Marie-France Marin, who directed the study. “To manipulate the hormone cortisol in the moment that is forming new memories you can reduce the negative emotions that could be associated with these” says the scientist.

Modification of memories

The established theory States that once the brain has stored memories they already cannot be modified.

The new study, explains Dr. Marin to the BBC, refutes this assumption. “Past studies with animals already had shown that each time we recall a memory it becomes ‘unstable’ in the brain and therefore it could be modified,” says the researcher. “Other studies also showed the effect of the hormone cortisol in the memory of memories.” “So we decided to use these two pieces of information and to investigate what would happen if we reduce the level of cortisol at the time of recording memories”.

To check what scientists presented to 33 participating boys a story composed of neutral events and negative events.

Three days later was divided into three groups: one received a single dose of metyrapone, the second received a double dose and the third received a placebo.

They were subsequently asked that I remember the story told to them.

Later, four days later, when the effect of the drug had vanished, scientists returned to assess the form and remembered the story. “We discovered that the men of the second group, who received a double dose of metyrapone, struggled to remember the negative events of the story.”

“However, showed no problems to remember neutral events” explains Dr. Marin. “What surprised most – told the BBC – the researcher is that four days later, when cortisol levels had returned to normal levels, still present this reduction in the memory of negative information.”

As pointed out the doctor Marin, the finding could lead to new treatments for people suffering from diseases such as disorder post-traumatic stress. “The finding could help these people to handle traumatic events by offering them the opportunity to replace the emotional part of his memories during the therapy session” says Marie-France Marin.

But he adds that the study only looked at the effect on memory acquired at the time of supplying the drug. And now it will be necessary to carry out further research to confirm that this also works with other types of memories stored previously.