‘eternal sunshine’ memory erasing technology is being developed!

Researchers at John Hopkins University have discovered a procedure that could potentially help produce a drug to erase memories that trigger post-traumatic stress disorder!  In an even more bizarre turn, the technique is similar to the one used in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (one of my all-time very favorite “relationship” films …but no, I don’t think such technology should be used for things like that).  According to researchers, they were able to remove a protein for the region of the brain in mice that was responsible for recalling the fear they felt upon hearing a loud sound.

Lead researcher Dr. Richard L. Huganir explains:

‘When a traumatic event occurs, it creates a fearful memory that can last a lifetime and have a debilitating effect on a person’s life. Our finding describing these molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in that process raises the possibility of manipulating those mechanisms with drugs to enhance behavioral therapy for such conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder. The idea was to remove these proteins and weaken the connections in the brain created by the trauma, thereby erasing the memory itself. This may sound like science fiction, the ability to selectively erase memories. But this may one day be applicable for the treatment of debilitating fearful memories in people, such as post-traumatic stress syndrome associated with war, rape or other traumatic events.’

Unbelievable!  This is absolutely fascinating!  This research, however, leads to a LOT of questions about whether or not this kind of treatment should be used.  I don’t like the idea that there could be a drug that could make people forget, even if it would be solely used for post-traumatic stress …it just doesn’t seem like something that should be messed with.  But I understand there are very specific circumstances where any quality of life is ruined.  It would have to be a pretty extreme case to warrant its use …what scares me if it were out there and available it would inevitably end up being misused by some irresponsible doctor.

Technology …interesting stuff.  Friend or foe?

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • Twitter

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.