Monday, April 6, 2009

Memory eraser drugs

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Think of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Erasing memories may seem like a good idea, but are you sure? Of course, if scientists can use what they've learned to help people forget that they're drug addicts, child molesters, that they were molested, etc., that seems OK. What if, though, in erasing those memories you also forgot about stuff you don't want erased, like your 16th birthday party?

Here's a snippet from the New York Times article, "Brain Researchers Open Door to Editing Memory."

Suppose scientists could erase certain memories by tinkering with a single substance in the brain. Could make you forget a chronic fear, a traumatic loss, even a bad habit.

Researchers in Brooklyn have recently accomplished comparable feats, with a single dose of an experimental drug delivered to areas of the brain critical for holding specific types of memory, like emotional associations, spatial knowledge or motor skills.

The drug blocks the activity of a substance that the brain apparently needs to retain much of its learned information. And if enhanced, the substance could help ward off dementias and other memory problems.

Read the rest of the article here.

Forgot what Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was about? Here's a refresher:

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