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Researchers are testing drugs that can delete parts of memory

When humans are confronted with traumatic events they change, their behavior is altered and some of them even get PTSD (Posttraumatic stress disorder). This severe condition may be cured if parts of the memory could somehow be deleted. A team of scientists from University of Washington conducted a study on the unreliability of human memory, showing that possible treatments for mental health issues could be developed.

Later, a team of scientists from MIT discovered that some memories leave molecular trails in mice, memories that can be tracked in the hippocampus region. One of the tested drugs is named SR-8993 and it blocked fear memories from forming. Another drug, the Latranculin A could “delete” memories few days after they are formed. The same idea was the propeller for the “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” movie, where Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet’s characthers were wiped out from each other’s memory using drugs.

With this research, scientists hope to learn how neurons “encode” each memory in our brain. Once they are able to solve this dilemma, treating people with memories of traumatic events will be much easier.