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New discoveries can reduce the effects of traumatic memory

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Scientists may be one step closer to finding ways to reduce the effects of traumatic memory, according to a recently published study at the University of Texas A & M in the journal. Nature Neuroscience.

The report details research by researchers in the Department of Psychological Brain Science and the Institute of Neuroscience. Stephen Maren, a professor of psychology and brain science, said the group’s findings show that the procedures clinicers use to indirectly reactivate traumatic memory change or completely change their memory. He said it suggests providing a window that can be erased.

In therapy, imaginary reminders are often used to safely search for memories of traumatic experiences. For example, Malen said veterans injured in improvised explosive devices could be required to re-experience traumatic cues such as the light and sound of an explosion without adverse effects. The idea is that the fear response can be diminished by this exposure therapy.

One big challenge is that when you perform the extinction procedure, it does not erase the memory of the original trauma.It’s always there and can bubbly, which is what causes recurrence in people who re-experience fear.. “

Stephen Maren, Professor of Psychology and Brain Science, University of Texas A & M

With this in mind, researchers answer whether it is possible to separate the memory and artificially reactivate it to promote the fear response and destroy the original memory itself. I was hoping for. Malen suggests that their findings suggest that the procedures currently used by clinicians to indirectly reactivate traumatic memory create opportunities to modify or eliminate them. Stated.

To do this, researchers used conditioning procedures that made clues indirectly associated with horrific events. When the cue is presented later, it indirectly reactivates the memory of the event and increases the activity of the hippocampus, a brain region important for memory.

This study showed that indirectly reactivating contextual fear memory through re-exposure to cues can lead to memory confusion. Malen said more research is needed to answer if scientists could lose traumatic information forever.

Source:

Journal reference:

Ressler, RL, et al.. (2021) Capturing and attenuating the secret of horror memory that depends on the hippocampus. Nature Neuroscience.. doi.org/10.1038/s41593-021-00825-5..

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