Tue 23rd Nov 2010, 07:27 pm
People who are haunted by visions of war and scenes of violence sometimes wish they could remove the bad memories from their minds. Medical researchers at Johns Hopkins University think that it may be possible someday.
A memory erasing drug is still a long way away. Its use would surely create many ethical problems. But according to a story in The Baltimore Sun, scientists feel they have a basis for it because of their discovery that proteins can be removed from the brain’s fear center to eliminate bad memories forever.
"When a traumatic event occurs, it creates a fearful memory that can last a lifetime and have a debilitating effect on a person's life," said Richard L. Huganir, professor and chair of neuroscience in the Hopkins School of Medicine to The Baltimore Sun. He thinks that his finding on the molecular process "raises the possibility of manipulating those mechanisms with drugs to enhance behavioral therapy for such conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder."
His research has gained interest from people involved in the mental health care industry. It also concerns some people.
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