Montreal researchers say that the drug metyrapone reduces the brain’s ability to re-record the negative emotions associated with painful memories. In other words, bad memories are effectively blocked from being recalled or remembered.
Memory Modification Is Possible: This Drug Seems To Erase Painful Memories.
Have an awful memory that you wish you could just take a pill and forget about it all? I do, even with all that mumbo jumbo and sage advice about going through times like that makes you tougher. Well, I don’t care to be tough, so pill please! And, it looks like one day in the near future, I may just get my wish. New research challenges the current notion that memories can’t be modified once they’re stored in the brain.
Researchers at the University of Montreal found that when recalling painful memories under the drug metyrapone, the brain’s ability to re-record the negative emotions associated with them is reduced significantly. Metyrapone is a medicine that lowers the level of the stress-inducing hormone cortisol which is involved in memory recall. "The results show that when we decrease stress hormone levels at the time of recall of a negative event, we can impair the memory for this negative event with a long-lasting effect,“ said Dr. Sonia Lupien, who directed the research. The researchers were surprised to find that once cortisol levels returned to normal, the study participants were still unable to remember the negative information.
Hopefully this new research will be able to help those with post-traumatic stress disorder and maybe normal people like you and me who can’t seem to leave painful memories in the past. There’s one hiccup though… metyrapone is no longer commercially produced. It’s possible that other drugs used to lower cortisol levels might work. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Have a painful memory you’d like to erase forever? Would you pop a pill to get rid of that memory?