Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wiping Memories to Tackle Alcoholism?
Researchers at the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, based in the Department of Experimental Psychology, are tackling the problem of pavlovian ‘cue-drug memory’ – when memories of the people, places and drug paraphernalia around drug use become inextricably bound in the brain to an unconscious impulse to use drugs. It’s a problem that affects thousands of people suffering from alcohol-dependency, and the research work is starting to show remarkable results. Focusing on the amygdala, the part of the brain that stores this type of emotional memory, the researchers believe that a memory can be reset, preventing drug cues from driving the embedded impulses to drink that cause devastation in the lives of alcoholics – by applying drug treatments at the moment of remembering. more