Heart pill to banish bad memories

24/02/2009 20:11

 Scientists believe a common heart medicine may be able to banish fearful memories from the mind.

The Dutch investigators believe beta-blocker drugs could help people suffering from the emotional after-effects of traumatic experiences.

They believe the drug alters how memories are recalled after carrying out the study of 60 people, Nature Neuroscience reports.

But British experts questioned the ethics of tampering with the mind.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind, said he was concerned about the "fundamentally pharmacological" approach to people with problems such as phobias and anxiety.

 Before eradicating memories, we must reflect on the knock-on effects that this will have on individuals 
Medical ethics expert Dr Daniel Sokol


He said the procedure might also alter good memories and warned against an "accelerated Alzheimer's" approach.

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