On Campus

Drug could make bad memories less difficult

University of Montreal researchers say drug could ease PTSD

A drug that reduces the stress hormone cortisol could help “overwrite bad memories” say researchers from the University of Montreal. In their recent study, they gave 33 people either the drug metyrapone or a placebo and then showed them a story on a computer screen. Those who had received the the drug were less likely to recall the negative parts of the story when asked four days later. “If every time you retrieve [a bad memory] and it’s not helping you because you cannot calm down a bit and put things back into perspective, it might be a good idea to retrieve it under the influence of metyrapone [instead] so you will recall less of the… very traumatic part,” neurological scientist Marie-France Marin, who led the study, told The National Post. She suggested it could be useful in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.