Monday, July 02, 2007


Some drown in drink. Others wield the needle, mindless of the damage done. The reason is usually the same: to blot out the pain. To forget.

Without a Vulcan mind meld, it never really works. Sobriety eventually intrudes. Bad memories never die.

That could change. Scientists are working on a drug that deletes bad memories. Live Science has the story:
In a new study, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, the drug propranolol is used along with therapy to "dampen" memories of trauma victims. They treated 19 accident or rape victims for ten days, during which the patients were asked to describe their memories of the traumatic event that had happened 10 years earlier. Some patients were given the drug, which is also used to treat amnesia, while others were given a placebo.

A week later, they found that patients given the drug showed fewer signs of stress when recalling their trauma.

Similar research led by Professor Joseph LeDoux has been carried out at New York University on rats; scientists were able to remove a specific memory from the brains of rats while leaving the rest of the animals' memories intact. An amnesia drug called U0126 was administered.
Or, as Alexander Pope once wrote:

How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd ...

1 comment:

James Durbin said...

So that's where that movie title came from.

I'm surprised there are no jokes about forgetting the last seven Democrats, or comments about Clinton accidentally getting dosed before the Whitewater hearings.

This one goes in the bookmark file.