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January 15, 2006

Brain Candy: Scientists Work On Pill To Reduce Emotional Trauma

I thought they already had invented Val-U-Rite discount vodka, but shows what I know:

They have been testing a pill that, when given after a traumatic event like rape, may make the resulting memories less painful and intense.

...

Only 14 percent to 24 percent of trauma victims experience long-term [post-traumatic stress disorder], but sufferers have flashbacks and physical symptoms that make them feel as if they are reliving the trauma years after it occurred.

Scientists think it happens because the brain goes haywire during and right after a strongly emotional event, pouring out stress hormones that help store these memories in a different way than normal ones are preserved.

Taking a drug to tamp down these chemicals might blunt memory formation and prevent PTSD, they theorize.

Some doctors have an even more ambitious goal: trying to cure PTSD. They are deliberately triggering very old bad memories and then giving the pill to deep-six them.

I'm going to need a few of these. One for 1978, one for 1983, and a bunch for 1992-2005.


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posted by Ace at 12:51 AM

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