Can bad memories be erased?

During a person’s life there are situations that it is preferable to forget. Some of those situations can become a real trauma. Those traumas usually do not allow them to move on with their life and the bad memories become a nightmare.

bad memories

Protein discovered that may help erase bad memories

Scientists confirm that it is possible to modify or erase traumatic memories. A team of scientists from the University of Cambridge in England, discovered a protein that helps to modify them. It is a protein that can be used as a brain marker. In this way, emotional memories can be treated.

2 types of memories

The scientific study was conducted in a laboratory with mice and gave good results. Although researchers are hopeful that in the medium term can be tested in humans. Especially in people suffering from PTSD, which is post-traumatic stress disorder.

There are two kinds of memories

These studies showed that over the long term, memories can typically be divided into two classes. Memories that are based on events or experiences that have occurred. Within this type one can remember names, events, or places, among others.

The other kind is based on instinct memory, such as the use of skills or the emotions aroused by an event. For these reasons, researchers believe that certain memories can be modified. This is very good news for people with post-traumatic stress disorder.

An earlier study gave good but partial results

A preliminary study conducted in New York in 2004 gave good results. In that research, scientists used animals to test a substance called propranolol. It allowed the treated animals to forget traumas that were fixed in their memory. However, the scientists did not have the expected success in later cases.

Instead, the Cambridge researchers identified a protein they named Shank. This protein acts as a link for connections between neurons, so it can determine whether memories can be modified. When the protein is degraded, memories become permeable and can be modified. When the protein is still strong, memories remain the same.

However, it is still not clear to science how organic memory works. The proof of this is that diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia still have no cure.

Nevertheless, the Cambridge scientists made a breakthrough and took a step forward by finding this biomarker. Even if only in the brain of a small mouse. Which may lead to finding a drug to treat post-traumatic stress and emotional trauma.

The results of the study have yet to be reviewed by other teams of scientists. It is awaiting publication in EurekAlert. Although being from the University of Cambridge, the results may be encouraging.

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