Deleting Memories: From Snails to PTSD Research


Finding a Cure for PTSD?

An impressive study on PTSD from Columbia University Center could be the breakthrough to bring relief to millions of people who suffer from this mental disorder.

How did they do that?

Researchers published their findings in Current Biology which showed how they were able to erase certain memories housed on the same neurons as other memories, without disturbing the others.

This amazing feat was done by blocking specific molecules connected with particular protein linked to long-term memory.  Who were the subjects, you ask?  Snails.

There is a caveat: the researchers are not certain the memories were erased forever.  I guess you can’t really give a memory check-up to a snail.  At the same time, these results on this study go a long way in aiding future research on memory which can make a huge impact on people who have this mental illness.

Studies like these can eventually lead to medications that could alter people’s brain chemistry and break the connection for them from pairing certain objects with traumatic events which leads to an episode.

“By isolating the exact molecules that maintain non-associative memory, we may be able to develop drugs that can treat anxiety without affecting the patient’s normal memory of past events,” Dr. Jiangyuan Hu, an associate research scientist at Columbia and co-author of the paper, said in a statement.

Still Learn from Long-term Memory

The researchers have said they want to leave associative long-term memories intact.  This way people can learn from their mistakes and maintain a working memory without the pain and suffering that go with it.

Objections to New PTSD Research?

There are some obvious reasons for objection.  Scientists could reverse the process and implant false memories and associations.


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