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Drug Deletes Fearful Memories

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the also-the-memory-that-you-paid-your-bill-already dept.

Biotech 247

Al writes "Technology Review has an article about a common drug that seems to 'delete' painful memories related to a fearful experience. Experiments carried out by neuro-scientists at Emory University show that propranolol, a drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure, can suppress the emotional part of a fearful memory. The results, published in Nature Neuroscience, suggest a new way to treat anxiety disorders. In recent years, scientists have discovered that the simple act of remembering a past experience requires that the memory be consolidated once again. And both animal research and some human studies have shown that during re consolidation, long-term memories — once thought to be fairly stable — can be more easily meddled with."

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247 comments

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A boon to higher education (5, Funny)

mbstone (457308) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880081)

Now they can make money re-educating the same students they educated before! Think of the student loan debt!

Re:A boon to higher education (5, Funny)

lucif3r (1391761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880153)

Nice, now I can touch the stove again!

Re:A boon to higher education (0, Troll)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880305)

I know this is in extremely poor taste, but...

It's the new morning-after rape drug!

Re:A boon to higher education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880459)

I know this is in extremely poor taste, but...

Hey, as I remember it now, it tastes great! And, it's less filling!

Re:A boon to higher education (-1, Offtopic)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880415)

Now they can make money re-educating the same students they educated before! Think of the student loan debt!

Who cares about ripping off students. I want to forget the Bush administration ever happened... oh and the entire 1980s.

Re:A boon to higher education (4, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880581)

You guys should not be joking about this. Deleting painful memories is an incredibly dangerous thing, as I can tell you from experience, and in the long run it will only make things worse than they were before. The reason why it's so dangerous is because... ah hell, I can't remember. But anyway, I'm pretty sure it's a bad idea.

Re:A boon to higher education (5, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880781)

I'll stick to the old methods, I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy...

Re:A boon to higher education (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881001)

You guys should not be joking about this. Deleting painful memories is an incredibly dangerous thing, as I can tell you from experience, and in the long run it will only make things worse than they were before. The reason why it's so dangerous is because... ah hell, I can't remember. But anyway, I'm pretty sure it's a bad idea.

Yeah, it's called liver damage.

Re:A boon to higher education (2, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881127)

"As you age, the second thing to go is your memory. I forget what the first thing is."

I just saw that posted somewhere else, and I swear to god I forgot where it was.

Re:A boon to higher education (2, Funny)

hopkimi (1145889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880601)

Nice, now I can get married again!

Since this is the epic lolz thread... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880741)

If they delete all my fearful memories, I won't remember any of my visits to Slashdot. Fuck, I might not even remember this site exists.

And here's another dangerous feedback loop for you:

"Oh, what's this OS, haven't seen it before. 'Windows Vista', hmmm, looks good, like the shape of the box!"
*puts DVD in drive. Boots machine*
"Aaaaargh!"
*Takes tablet*
"Oh, what's this OS, haven't seen it before. 'Windows Vista' ...

Maybe this drug is the secret behind the success of Windows 7. No-one can remember how awful it is!

This is old news.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880805)

This news came out in 2002.

http://www.neuropsychiatryreviews.com/march02/ptsd.html

Re:A boon to higher education (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881121)

Now they can make money re-educating the same students they educated before! Think of the student loan debt!

It's called "free trade"; just when you master something it's either automated or done overseas for 1/4 the cost.
       

PropranoLOL (4, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880089)

Any relation to propofol, a.k.a. milk of amnesia?

Re:PropranoLOL (4, Informative)

reverseengineer (580922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880729)

Nope, propofol (2,6-diisopropyl phenol) likely works by increasing the response to inhibitory neurotransmitters, and acts as an anesthetic. Propanolol is a non-selective beta-blocker, which blocks the beta-adrenergic receptors (receptors for epinephrine and norepinephrine). As the summary notes, the most common pharmaceutical use for this is to lower blood pressure, which it does by preventing the release of renin. Its effects on memory are completely coincidental to those on blood pressure.

In the brain, a part of the brainstem known as the locus ceruleus is the site of norepinephrine synthesis, and it is activated by stress to send norepinephrine to the amygdalae, the brain's "emotional memory association" centers. It is in the amygdalae that memories are associated with emotions, with the ultimate result being that it is easier to form long term memories of experiences that associated with strong emotions. In blocking norepinephrine transmission to the amygdala, beta-blockers most likely are acting to uncouple the connection between a stressor and its associated memory, such that the brain no longer considers it important enough to keep in long term memory.

Drugs (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880091)

propranolol

So this will turn your fearful memories into hilarious ones?

Bush/Cheney (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880099)

So I can forget the past eight years?

Re:Bush/Cheney (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880703)

Gay.

Ahh... (4, Funny)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880101)

Now I can finally forget the day that ruined my life. It took me away from schoolwork, friends, family...it was horrible.

Now I can finally forget the day I joined Slashdot.

Re:Ahh... (-1, Flamebait)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880545)

Uh huh, Mr. 1429763. This day was just how long ago? Last week?

I finally feel that I've been here long enough to get away with that. :P

Re:Ahh... (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880671)

Yes, you can do that when you've got a digit on the new kids.

And this is a Good thing!? (4, Insightful)

sjvn (11568) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880111)

You know one does learn to avoid making many mistakes in life--I really cant fly, fire is pretty but it does hurt--by pain.

Besides just the idea of tampering with memory being a *bad* thing, the notion of fooling with one of the fundamental ways we learn strikes me as a really bad idea.

Soma anyone?

Steven

Re:And this is a Good thing!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880449)

"Damn it, Bones, you're a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can't be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away! I need my pain!" --Captain James T. Kirk

Re:And this is a Good thing!? (5, Insightful)

woolpert (1442969) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880457)

You speak as if our brain's software is without bugs. If you had seen the suffering and disablement that intense, often unreasonable, emotional pain can inflict on some people even years after the traumatic event, perhaps you would be less dismissive of an attempt to patch this particular bug.
Expose X people to a horrific event and a high percentage of them will show the ability to get over it. There is that outlying group, however, who (despite honest effort and therapy) seem to have an overactive emotional memory system which prevents them from ever coming to terms with what happened.

Re:And this is a Good thing!? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26881095)

Wrong. No one just "get[s] over it." Every individual, based on their prior experiences will take a given situation and either adapt to it to the best of their abilities, perhaps by adding it to their experience or by "moving on" and ignoring it even though the effect is still with them at a subconscious level. And the really poorly off people break; they have something happen to them so traumatic that it shatters their emotions. While they are the most obvious "victims" of an event, if they can't find help with dealing with the problem, either through talking it out with someone, taking a step back from life and doing some reflecting on their life, or finding some other way to overcome their emotional burden, they will forever go through life not only with the scars from the event, but the inability to cope with other problems, regardless of their magnitude.

You can't tamper with the learning process of gained experience because nature doesn't breed it out of the gene pool anymore. Modern medicine has, in my opinion, overcome the acceptable boundaries of emotional science without considering the long-term health effects of just throwing pills at people.

Learning to adapt and overcome is far too important to let us forget. No matter the cost.

Re:And this is a Good thing!? (5, Insightful)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880513)

You're right, to an extent. Living without pain is very hard--some individuals born without the ability have hellish lives as a result. But sometimes, pain teaches us lessons that aren't so good, like "I should never touch anyone for the rest of my life," because touching is so strongly associated with pain. How people with this sort of thing varies from one individual to the next, but for someone with a deeply ingrained irrational fear based on some painful experience, maybe removing the memory could be a good thing.

Another way of looking at it is this: if you are raped, and the idea of sex is permanently distorted in your mind by the memory, then this memory is a punishment for something that isn't your fault, haunting you and messing up your life to this day. Wouldn't it be a good thing to allow the *option* of removing this weight from one's shoulders?

Re:And this is a Good thing!? (2, Funny)

drolli (522659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880563)

Hmmm you can record you life on a carry-on camera you carry around. A knowbot indexes it for you and after you agree with the indexing you swallow this drug. After that use google desktop to search you memories.

Re:And this is a Good thing!? (5, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880667)

On the other hand, previous experiences suggest this might not be such a bad thing. It didn't actually do much damage last year when a secret biowarfare lab accidentally released the Mnemonivirus and we had a global Amnesia Plague. Remember that?

Re:And this is a Good thing!? (3, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880939)

Besides just the idea of tampering with memory being a *bad* thing, the notion of fooling with one of the fundamental ways we learn strikes me as a really bad idea.

Now suppose that you and your family were kidnapped from your home at gun point, and you had to watch while unspeakable things were done to them and to you.

One thing you would 'learn' (and have a terrifying anxiety attack in response to) is that sitting around in your own home with your family is an unsafe thing to be doing, because something really bad happened one day when you were doing that. That response would be completely useless and would make your life an absolute misery.

That's the sort of thing this drug could be useful in 'editing out'. 'editing out' the sort of 'that hurt me last time I did that so I won't do it again' memories is a stupid idea and I don't know why anyone would bring it up.

The nature of most people on Slashdot appears to be to figure out a way that a certain product could be used badly, assume that that is the only way it could be used, and then post a whole lot of comments to that effect.

Re:And this is a Good thing!? (1, Troll)

kd5zex (1030436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880977)

Now suppose that you and your family were kidnapped from your home at gun point, and you had to watch while unspeakable things were done to them and to you.

I think this would 'teach' someone to go buy their own gun.

Re:And this is a Good thing!? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881071)

Now if the could selectively get rid of good memories, that would be really useful. Do the same fun thing over and over again, for the very first time, cool. Watch the same sci fi series or movies for the first time over and over again, no more clichés, really cool ;).

Hollywood Has Already Done This (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880119)

Interestingly, it turns out that the test subjects are actually ghosts who are dreaming the future.

Re:Hollywood Has Already Done This (1)

Taikutusu (1479335) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880135)

In before Eternal Sunshine...oh wait. Damn.

will this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880131)

make me forget my ex?

Eternal Sunshine (4, Interesting)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880139)

Admittedly I didn't RTFA, but is this specific to just painful memories? I mean, I'd love to delete some memories I have, but I wouldn't want to run the risk of overwriting, say, my acceptance to law school, or memories of particularly good sex, for example. (Yes, strangely enough for a Slashdotter, I have had some.)

How can the drug possibly discriminate between good and bad memories, or for that matter, any memories at all?

Re:Eternal Sunshine (0, Troll)

Caboosian (1096069) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880161)

How can the drug possibly discriminate between good and bad memories, or for that matter, any memories at all?

Easy, the drug is racist.

Re:Eternal Sunshine (1)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880191)

Easy, the drug is racist.

Ahhhh, of course, of course, I should have realized that, considering it's white powder, contained in a white pill, packaged in white packaging.

Re:Eternal Sunshine (4, Insightful)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880185)

The headline is somewhat misleading. The memory is not erased. Rather, the emotions associated it are dampened. As in, "I saw my mother hacked to pieces with a chainsaw. Meh."

Re:Eternal Sunshine (1)

patagoniantoothfish (1155591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880455)

Well, not exactly - unless you get to see your mother hacked to pieces repeatedly while on the drug. Maybe if chainsaw-mrderers were considerate enough to record the act so you could play it back in propranolol therapy.

Re:Eternal Sunshine (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880995)

The dampening is a temporary one while you are on the drug. Come off of it, and things return as they were before. This is going to be worthless unless they intend to keep the PTSD folks on it the rest of their lives.

I've been on it.

Re:Eternal Sunshine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880425)

I wouldn't want to run the risk of overwriting... memories of particularly good sex, for example. (Yes, strangely enough for a Slashdotter, I have had some.)
Would that be by yourself, or with a partner? And if the latter... what's it like?

Re:Eternal Sunshine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880655)

It's for people with PTSD. Severe mental trauma. That sort of thing.

As a psychotic disabled vet who has had no success with therapy, this sounds like a potentially wonderful thing; to wake up happy without medication... for me, man, that's the stuff dreams are made of, risks be DAMNED.

Re:Eternal Sunshine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880687)

I mean, I'd love to delete some memories I have...

I see that you've already deleted the blog on your "homepage" link. Good start!

You can learn to forget. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880801)

Actually, you can teach yourself to forget once you develop a certain level of introspection.

The key is in realizing that trying not to think about X will, in fact, cause you to think about X by reference. Combine that with the fact that one memory will trigger related memories (as if they were all connected by URLs or pointers or what have you... yes, I am a software geek) and you may start to see the solution.

First, you need a 'null thought' to overwrite the bad memory with. This should be a thought that references only itself. A software diagram that showed a memory scheme where address 0 was filled with 0x00 so that it acted as a null pointer that pointed to itself was what gave me that idea. It's not unlike the sink state of a state machine.

You might worry that it will develop links to the outside as you use it as a replacement. This is a reasonable worry, but solved via use. Most people can't remember how many times they've, say, breathed, because the memories are indistinct. There are simply too many of them. Forget enough and the null memory will be the same.

After that, you need the introspection to know when you're about to think about the thought you want to replace, at which time you divert to the null thought. It won't quite work at first. But over time, the memory will lose power by virtue of not having been thought of as much. The further ingrained into your mind the memory is, the harder it will be to forget. If you erase it right away, it may die on the spot. If this is the most painful moment of your life that you've lived with for decades... you might not be able to fully get rid of it, but you may be able to think about it a lot less.

Be smart about what you erase. Sometimes painful memories are a part of us. You don't have to erase everything. Just find a level you can live with and stay there. It's hard sometimes. And not every bad memory should be erased. Sometimes, you're better talking them out with someone you trust. Sharing your pain is another way to lessen it. That's a lot better than having some weird drug mess with your mind. And that goes double for illegal drugs.

Re:Eternal Sunshine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880897)

I doubt it does. I'll have to read the article first to see if they actually did decent controls.

Their end result was if the folks were less startled by a sound (that they just introduced in place of a shock) when seeing the picture of a spider that they'd been attuned to fearing because of the accompanying shock.

I've been on propranolol for a couple years. It dampens down my response to... everything... a bit. It depresses/mellows you. I'd expect the group to be less startled because of the drug, but not because of any effect of the drug on memory.

Re:Eternal Sunshine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26881021)

Admittedly I didn't RTFA, but is this specific to just painful memories? I mean, I'd love to delete some memories I have, but I wouldn't want to run the risk of overwriting, say, my acceptance to law school, or memories of particularly good sex, for example...

That's easy. Just be sure, while the drug is active in your system, not to think about any of the good...

Uh Oh.

At least they now have a cure for this problem:

http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/1996-07-23/

Dupe? (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880143)

I've seen this story before. I think.

Re:Dupe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880839)

I've seen this story before. I think.

I KNOW I've seen this story before, I just don't seem to care.

Re:Dupe? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881079)

I've seen this story before. I think.

These are not the dupes you are looking for. -O.W.K.
   

University of Amsterdam (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880149)

The article states that the experiments where carried out at the University of Amsterdam, not Emory University.

Re:University of Amsterdam (1)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880579)

Later scientists were asked about their research but could only reply "man... we totally forgot about that shit, man. You like just blew our minds"

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880159)

Another thing to hear my tinfoilhat friends complaining about..

"The government is magically putting it IN THE AIR!"

How long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880169)

How long will it be until law enforcement or the military drugs an interviewee, thus having the evidence thrown out?

What if it deleted something really important.. (1)

neiltrodden (981196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880177)

...but not something you'd notice straight away? Would you ever even miss it? Would your life be a bit more crap because you lost a fond memory to look back on and didn't even know it?

side effects of propranolol (3, Interesting)

tyroneking (258793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880183)

"SIDE EFFECTS: Propranolol is generally well tolerated, and side effects are mild and transient. Rare side effects include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, insomnia, nausea, depression, dreaming, memory loss, fever, impotence, lightheadedness, slow heart rate, low blood pressure, numbness, tingling, cold extremities, sore throat, and shortness of breath or wheezing. "

Lot of patients who I've dealt with who took this drug suffered from impotence and had to be changed to alternative medication - wonder if in fact all that happened is that they forgot what do with it :)

I vaguely remember being told by a gynae doc that Pethidine had some memory loss effects too

The article linked above also goes on to say:
"Kindt's team has already tested whether the propranolol effect lasts longer than three days--a key requirement for therapeutic use--but she declined to give the results because they have been submitted for publication."

So continuous treatment might be required? Side effects of prop. can be worse than the memories maybe?

Really, what's wrong with spending money on counselling instead?

(IANAD - but IWAP)

Re:side effects of propranolol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880695)

I Wedded A Pediatrician?
I Willingly Anal Probe?
I Want A Pony?

C'mon -- give us a clue!

Re:side effects of propranolol (2, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881045)

Don't care... after the drug strips the emotional content of the memory of having suffering all of those side effects, it will just dont matter anymore.

Re:side effects of propranolol (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26881093)

Worse side effects: I keep shitting my pants, but I don't know why!

startle reponse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880343)

All they've proved is that the drug inhibits startle response.

I Don't Remember Anything From Saturday Night (1)

CyberSlammer (1459173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880357)

I wish I could remember why my ass hurts.

who gives a fuck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880381)

slashfags are liars who'll make up whatever statistics suit their needs and mods will mod not based on facts but based on bias.

faggot dick smokers deserve to have bad dreams. i hope they all get aids and die. faggots are drains on society. fucking eating up resources disproportionately compared to heterosexuals. any scientific atheist will tell you that fags are a drain on society but most of the atheists here are unscientific faggots looking for absolution from comic book reading losers.

ZOMG! (0)

ranok (1236468) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880411)

Dude, I think you smoked too much TROLL!

Re:ZOMG! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880471)

what are you? a dick sucker or one of their friends? keep draining society faggot bitches. someday society will enlighten itself and shove you fucks into a furnace.

Scary philosophical thought (2, Interesting)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880401)

If everything that you think you are (your memories) gets gradually shifted and rewritten from day to day, who are we? Never minding the fact that it appears our conscious existence ends when we die, it's almost as if we die a tiny bit every day. While I think I remember who I was 10, 20 years ago, if these memories are faulty and always being revised, perhaps I am that person no longer.

        Some days, I look around and find it remarkable that I even exist. But, sadly, that appears to be a temporary state of being. Not only will I not exist in the future, it appears that I will not even be able to know I don't exist. And now, with these discoveries on memory, it appears that this gradual process of death happens even when we are still alive.

Buy your expensive drugs (3, Funny)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880465)

I'll keep my alcohol. Years of private studies show loss of fear and suppression of bad memories.

Re:Buy your expensive drugs (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881153)

I'll keep my alcohol. Years of private studies show loss of fear and suppression of bad memories.

Yes, but it's like a DELETE statement without a WHERE clause.
   

Can't we get this funded more quickly? (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880487)

Such a drug could be enormously helpful for soldiers suffering from PTSD.

Re:Can't we get this funded more quickly? (1)

reverseengineer (580922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880795)

A trial for that purpose is currently underway. [clinicaltrials.gov]

Re:Can't we get this funded more quickly? (2, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881131)

Such a drug could be enormously helpful for soldiers suffering from PTSD.

or marriage ;-P
   

PSYCH DRUGS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880523)

Scientology is gonna fucking ATE this!

Re:PSYCH DRUGS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880529)

HATE ... I meant HATE

Re:PSYCH DRUGS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880627)

Either way really. Either they have a crusade against it, or for it to use in their indoctrinations and REALLY make people forget their families care about them like all cults try to do.

As Roosevelt said, (5, Funny)

blakedev (1397081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880559)

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, and now we have a drug for it."

Torture (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880633)

I guess using this technique you could torture someone, then make it "all better."

Lovely.

Brave New World? (0, Offtopic)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880691)

Soma -- Praise be to Ford.

Who we are (1)

Dupple (1016592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880753)

is a result of experience both good and bad. You would be deleting yourself.

Can this drug... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880755)

delete the awful memory of the scientology ad I just saw on this site?

Re:Can this drug... (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880883)

Maybe, but if it can't, it can at least help you forget that you were ever in that cult in the first place!

Re:Can this drug... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881107)

What cult? What's slashdot? What is this glowing screen thing in front of me? Hey look, buttons with letters! hl;akljsdf;kjasdf~';

Ponies? (1)

Elitist_Phoenix (808424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880757)

I wonder if it works on bright pink colour schemes?

Phillip K. Dick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880759)

Phillip K. Dick has been done proud once again... sounds just like one of his novels.

Mass treatment (1)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880789)

Pipe it into the U.S. water supply, and maybe we can all forget the last eight painful years...

Re:Mass treatment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880851)

Gay..

russian perspective (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880901)

In Russia this thing is known for centuries, they call it "vodka".

Re:russian perspective (1)

kd5zex (1030436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880955)

In Soviet Russia, memory erases you!

Being prepared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26880909)

Can I get four years' supply?

No one on the entire web has RTFA. (3, Insightful)

rayd75 (258138) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880937)

The drug in the study is a beta blocker. They are used heavily to treat high blood pressure, heart rhythm issues, and specific aspects of heart failure. The study indicates that they MAY be useful in helping to dampen the negative feelings associated with traumatic memories when combined with specifically designed therapy. There's no claim that they can actually cause a memory to be forgotten. It's not a potential lifestyle drug poised for widespread abuse. Most links I've seen to this article and others covering the study seem to suggest that simply popping one of these pills will make you forget an entire event at will. It's nowhere near that simple. If it were, I'd be a lot more laid-back than I actually am.

Re:No one on the entire web has RTFA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26881031)

yeah, wtf? I used propranolol to block out tachycardia (related to anxiety). I can't see it being some mystical government drug to block out certain memories. It's no Diazepam either.

BAD idea (1)

binpajama (1213342) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880949)

Stan: Let's go watch the new Indiana Jones movie.

Kyle: Yeah, dude. Totally!

(in theater)

Stan: What are they doing?

Kyle: They're raping him! They're raping him!

Butters: Let's get out of here.

(two weeks later)

Stan: Let's go watch the new Indiana Jones movie

Kyle: Yeah dude. Totally!

Could be used to justify torture (3, Interesting)

straponego (521991) | more than 5 years ago | (#26880997)

After all, if you can't remember being tortured, and there's no permanent physical damage, where's the harm?

Also, with this or roofie-type drugs, I wouldn't be surprised if some people were willing to pay to be tortured, as long as they couldn't remember it.

Lastly, quit referencing Eternal Sunshine. Yeah, it was okay. The original PKD story, We Can Remember it For You Wholesale, was pretty good too. Of course, they never gave credit, just like Idiocracy never credited Kornbluth's Marching Morons, despite being a verbatim copy. Pretty sure Harlan Ellison had a similar story, but I... can't remember right now.

Oh look, the coffee just hit.

A cure for goatse? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26881005)

And they said some things couldn't be unseen.

Too many LoLs (1)

asdf4 (1318053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881013)

Its just propoganda from the lol machine (crazy scientists with a sense of humor, propranolol)

Where was this drug ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881069)

... when 'Battlefield Earth' was released?

Wait a minute. I think I posted the same quip the last time this story came out.......Oh No!!!!! Old jokes live on!

Just fearful? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881075)

can suppress the emotional part of a fearful memory

What about supressing the emotional part of an intense, but not exactly fearful memory? There wasn't cure for love... till now?

minus 5, Tr0ll) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26881117)

Same goal: moving on (1)

letgo (1479363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881129)

'Delete' being misleading is correct. More often than not, we witness researchers 'mainstreaming' their research by promoting it to the general public - and using words to express it in a way that they mean, genuinely, but subtly is underrated.

These are the type of advances that ARE beneficial towards psychiatric treatment. As some above have already said, we are not all built the same, neither do we learn the same. Outliers exist as a result of experience or mental deficiencies that make the value of a learning process disappear beneath the weight of its trauma.

It is obvious that some who experience fear in excess on a daily basis will benefit from it, and it is obvious that some looking for the next cheap exit in terms of life's hurdles will abuse it. This is always the case. And at the end of the day, society's decision is based on this--the IMPORTANCE of this, that outweighs this debate that, I'm sure, has taken place time and time again--which is why these drugs go on to getting made: to give help to those who need it.

The disclaimer is there. Just because society develops a way to change what fundamentally makes us human, doesn't mean we are incapable of making the decision of what is fundamentally right for us.

What anal probe? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26881167)

For what it's worth, UFO abductions alleged use something like this.

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