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Can traumatic memories be ‘erased’ with anesthesia medications?

| | April 5, 2019

Erasing memories has always been the stuff of science fiction and wishful thinking. After all, what happened, happened—your experiences are solidified in your head as part of your past, perhaps even molding your personality.

But does it have to be this way?

Memory research is now suggesting there might be a way to turn back the clock.

[Recently,] an international team from Spain, the Netherlands and the US added proof in Science Advances that complex traumatic memories can be dampened, if not erased.

The team invited 50 participants to look at two stories presented on slide shows. Some of the slides featured aversive content while a voice narrated the story—meant to stimulate the negative emotions associated with trauma. One showed a boy getting fatally wounded in a car accident. The other story was about the kidnapping and assault of a young woman.

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Once reactivated, the patients immediately received a dose of propofol into their veins.

It’s not that the drugs just dampened their emotions for the memory, which is what previous drugs tend to do. Rather, propofol disrupted the entire emotional memory.

Read full, original post: A Spotless Mind? Precisely-Timed Anesthesia May Dim Traumatic Memories

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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