May 29, 2011

Bye Bye Bad Memories, Hello Greener Side

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Joseph V. Madia, MD By:

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Metryapone may erase bad memories

(dailyRx News) Most people would give anything to erase a horrible memory. The idea might not be as far-fetched as using a magic wand to suck it out of your brain - just a drug to rewrite it.

Open your mind to a world where anything is possible. Researchers have come across a drug that is able to change bad memories and erase the negative feelings associated with them - all without harming the good feelings.

"Metryapone may replace bad memories with new ones."

Researchers from the University of Montreal have found a drug that is capable of "re-record[ing] the negative emotions associated with [painful memories]". Metryapone works by decreasing cortisol, a stress hormone involved in recalling memories. When cortisol levels are lower, negative memories become unclear.

In order for the study to take place, 33 men were asked to learn a story that involved both neutral and negative events. The participants were separated into three groups. The first group had a single dose of metryapone; the second group two doses of metryapone; the third group received a placebo.

The participants were asked to recall the story four days later after being separated into groups. The time allowed for the drug to be cleared out of their system.

The study showed men who received two doses of the drug could not remember the negative events of the story, but could still remember the neutral events. Lead author Marie-France Marin said, "The decreased memory of negative information was still present once cortisol levels returned to normal."

This research can help provide hope for people that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder by actually rewriting their emotional response to the troubling events.

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Reviewed by: 
Joseph V. Madia, MD
Review Date: 
May 27, 2011

Last Updated:
May 29, 2011