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News Link • Drugs and Medications

A Drug That Removes Bad Memories While You Sleep

•, By Krislyn Placide
Memory-erasure technology is finally starting to follow Eternal Sunshine canon. In the latest breakthrough, Stanford University researchers announced at the Society for Neuroscience meeting that they are manipulating fearful rat memories. Like the University of Puerto Rico study involving injections that cause rats to forget fears, this research is chemical-based, but the magic happens while the rats sleep. The team at Stanford hopes that sleep-based therapies will expand options for treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

First, researchers conditioned mice to fear the scent of jasmine by administering a shock every time the mice sniffed the scent. The mice showed the characteristic sign of fear the next day when the scent was present--they froze up anticipating the shock. One group of mice got the conventional treatment of extinction therapy-- repeated exposure to to the scent without the shock. The fear dissipated, but returned when they were placed in different environments.

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