'Trauma pill' could help those with PTSD

Jan 30, 2006

A "trauma pill" could blot out memories of harrowing events for combat veterans and survivors of accidents or terrorism, say Canadian researchers.

Most memories decay naturally, but people under extreme stress pump an abnormal amount of stress hormones during the event -- so the memories are stored differently, said Dr. Alain Brunet, professor of psychiatry at McGill University in Montreal.

"If you have (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) your memory is so fresh it's as if the event is happening now," he said. "For a person to have that vivid flashback certain hormones are released by the brain. If you can block these, the memory is weakened or even removed completely."

Brunet and colleagues had 20 people suffering from PTSD recall their experiences as vividly as possible in therapy sessions, after being given doses of propranolol -- a beta-blocker used to treat high blood pressure, angina and abnormal heart rhythms -- the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Preliminary findings indicate the PTSD sufferers experienced fewer flashbacks and less severe symptoms after taking the drug.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: The stapes of a neanderthal child points to the anatomical differences with our species

Related Stories

Sugar key to cellular protein protection and viability

Mar 16, 2015

A Simon Fraser University laboratory's breakthrough in understanding how a specialized sugar regulates protein levels in our cells could generate new targets for therapies to treat diseases caused by improper protein regulation. ...

Cellular memory of stressful situations

Jan 28, 2015

Stress is unhealthy. The cells use therefore a variety of mechanisms to deal with stress and avert its immediate threat. However, certain stressful situations leave marks that go beyond the immediate response; ...

New self-stretching material developed

Feb 13, 2015

Although most materials slightly expand when heated, there is a new class of rubber-like material that not only self-stretches upon cooling; it reverts back to its original shape when heated, all without physical manipulation.

Recommended for you

Destroyed Mosul artefacts to be rebuilt in 3D

Mar 27, 2015

It didn't take long for the scientific community to react. Two weeks after the sacking of the 300 year-old Mosul Museum by a group of ISIS extremists went viral on Youtube, researchers from the ITN-DCH, IAPP ...

Boys plagiarise more than girls at school

Mar 27, 2015

Research by the University of the Balearic Islands has analysed the phenomenon of academic plagiarism among secondary school students. The study, published in the journal Comunicar, confirms that this practi ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.