A Forgetting Pill

Memories are not exact recordings of our experiences. Science finds that the act of remembering something changes that memory. This finding has led to the development of drugs that, when administered in conjunction with the act of recalling a specific memory, can modify or even erase that memory! The applications of this research could mean a cure for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PKMzeta is an enzyme that is produced around brain synapses when memories are recalled. An enzyme inhibitor called zeta-interacting protein, or ZIP, reduces the production of PKMzeta.

In addition to PTSD, erasing certain memories could aid therapies for chronic pain, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and drug addiction. But is it right to erase memories? Medical ethicists are divided. Some say that the memory of pain is educational, and it’s wrong to mess with what makes us who we are. Others are excited about the possibility of helping those who suffer. Learn more here.

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