Tags: erasing painful memories | drug-associated memories | actin | memory formation

Scientists Successfully Erase Unwanted Memories

Wednesday, 11 Sep 2013 01:08 PM

Until now, erasing painful memories has been a fantasy explored in books and in movies, such as the film "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." But researchers at The Scripps Research Institute in Florida have erased the drug-associated memories of mice and rats. Their success gives hope to people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and to former addicts who report intense cravings associated with memories associated with their addiction — even something as simple as chewing gum once used to alleviate dry mouth caused by meth.

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The new method, which involves hampering actions of a protein called actin that plays a role in memory formation, erases painful memories while leaving the rest intact, says an article in Medical News Today. The method impedes actin during the "maintenance phase" of memory formation, long after the memory has formed.
Tests showed that after treatments, rats had lost all memories associated with their addiction, but their other memories remained intact.
Go here to read the entire Medical News Today article.

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