Memories are what make us. It is the memory of the experiences we have had that determines our actions and reactions. But when memories are bad, we become nervous when in a similar situation.
A boy who had a rotten boiled egg in the summer, his brain stores the feeling of falling sick and his brain associates the boiled egg with sickness, and without even realizing even years after the boy will dislike the boiled egg.
Bad memories give us anxiety. But thanks to science there is a drug in the market, which will erase the bad memory.
Dutch psychology professor Merel Kindt has seemingly found a way to erase the emotional anxiety associated with bad memories without erasing the memories themselves.
Working with arachnophobes, she discovered that subjects who were given a drug called propanolol after being exposed to a spider were later able to handle the creatures without fear. The drug is believed to change the way a memory (in this case, terror associated with spiders) is resaved in the brain after being accessed.
But what’s the point of manipulating memories anyway?
“It might be possible to work with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder], and that’s a huge deal,” Bicks says. “It could happen very soon.”
The drug propanolol act as beta-blockers, they affect the the effects of norepinephrine in the brain. Norepinephrine, also called noradrenaline, substance that is released predominantly from the ends of sympathetic nerve fibres and that acts to increase the force of skeletal muscle contraction and the rate and force of contraction of the heart. The actions of norepinephrine are vital to the fight-or-flight response, whereby the body prepares to react to or retreat from an acute threat.
The study was done only on 45 people, soon the study will involve more subjects, giving more authentication to the research.