A Common Anesthetic Could Ease PTSD and Other Stress Disorders

By Paul Raeburn: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd- The ideal solution would be to still have the memory but not the emotional overlay. But this could help people with long-lasting impacts from PTSD….

When the brain remembers, proteins in two locations deep within the organ — the amygdala and hippocampus — encode the memory until it is stored, or “consolidated” in the vernacular. Neuroscientists once thought that a memory, when put in its place, became permanent and stable.

That’s a problem for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), plagued by crippling, debilitating memories that they cannot shake. “We wish that we could somehow target unpleasant or pathological memories and reduce their emotional strength,” says Bryan A. Strange, founder of the Laboratory of Clinical Science at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.

During the past two decades or so, it has become clear that these memories are not fixed and unshakable. They can be manipulated in ways that might ultimately ease the suffering of patients, not just ones with a PTSD diagnosis but also those afflicted by phobias, depression and other stress-related conditions.

Strange is among the researchers looking for leads to tamp down toxic memories. He and his colleagues reported in a Science Advances paper on March 20 that the anesthetic propofol can be used to alter such recollections, if administered in the right circumstances.

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