Health And Medicine

Erasing Long-Term Bad Memories Is A Piece Of Cake For Scientists

Erasing Long-Term Bad Memories Is A Piece Of Cake For ScientistsErasing Long-Term Bad Memories Is A Piece Of Cake For Scientists

Would you want to erase your bad memories if you had a choice? Make up your mind because it is not going to be long before science is able to get rid of your bad memories for you.

In ASAPScience’s recent episode “Can You Erase Bad Memories?” Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown claim erasing bad memories by targeting specific proteins in different regions of the brain might soon be possible, and hopefully this will serve an answer to how to get rid of bad memories.

To understand how memories could be erased, you must first know how they are formed. It is not just one part of the brain that takes part in memory formation rather the entire brain participates to make and store a memory.

The cells of our brain are stimulated to build new connections and links while changing the different circuits of the brain. This rewiring of circuits is facilitated by specific proteins in the brain. When you try to recall or think upon some memories, the brain is going through a physical change by firing and rewiring the circuits and altering the memory reflecting your current thoughts.

What scientists can do is to target those specific proteins involved in memory formation to delete the memory permanently. How to target those proteins?

Quite easy, all scientists have to do is to administer a protein inhibiting drug while the person is told to recall that memory. The emotions associated with the bad memory can be altered as a study published in the journal “Nature” claims.  That is possible using the activity of neurons and by controlling the proteins that trigger the memory.

So now, if you experience a negative emotion because of a bad memory, you will have choice to both get rid of the emotion or just get the memory erased. In fact, this study has led to the discovery of specific drugs which can target the specific proteins associated with a memory across different parts of the brain.

This discovery can help understand all about memories and other brain functions, it may lead to cure of other neurological and psychological disorders, but most importantly it can change the lives of those with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

16 comments

  1. Isn’t there a danger of failing to recall the bad memory and actually be (inadvertently) remembering something good at the moment the inhibiter is released. Would we lose the good memory?

  2. Great article, but a truly worrying thought – what if they ‘deleted’ the good ones, instead? And, I agree with what was said earlier… Bad memories can at worst, lessons learnt and at best, self-defining.

  3. This is quite a debacle. On one hand, I can understand why someone would desire ridding themselves of bad memories, but I like the memories of my past–the good and the bad. Personally, I would not erase any.

  4. I really find it hard to work out how this would work. Your neural circuits are permanently altered when you lay down a memory. I can understand how they might be able to temporarily block an emotion associated with a specific memory, but not how they can target that specific memory and erase it permanently.

  5. Erasing memories makes me a little squeamish. Even my bad memories help define the person that I am today. However, I don’t have PTSD. If this can help someone who does, then I’m all for it.

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