New Drug Developed to Erase Bad Memories

June 1st, 2011

We all have memories that we all would like to forget. Mistakes made in the past, poor choices, we all realize our problems and do our best to forget them, but sometimes the strength of our memory does not permit us to.

This may all be coming to a change. Around a week ago, researchers from the University of Montreal have researched a drug, Metyrapone, which is supposed to lessen the brain’s ability to recall the negative emotions tied to painful memories. The team was meant to challenge the long-standing idea that memories stored in the brain cannot be modified.

Metyrapone itself acts by drastically decreasing cortisol, a stress hormone that often causes, or is at least involved, in memory recall. In changing the amount of cortisol when forming new memories, the negative emotions associated with them are similarly changed.


Head researcher Dr. Sonia Lupien explained that “the results show that when we decrease stress hormone levels at the time of recall of a negative event, we can impair the memory for this negative event with a long-lasting effect.”

The doctors experimented by giving a group of men various doses of Metyrapone. They in turn found that the men who had taken the doses had difficulty remembering the negative parts of their stories, while they had no problem recalling the neutral or positive portions. Even when the Metyrapone began to fade and the cortisol levels returned to normal, the experimental group continued to have problems remembering the difficult parts of the story.

The researchers intend to aid people who have legitimate problems when recalling their problems, such as people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The biggest obstacle at the moment is that Metyrapone is no longer commercially produced. However, the researchers at the University of Montreal are currently hoping that their research will amount to a higher level of production to cure the patients who need it.

Brandon Yu, Senior Managing Editor

For Immediate Treatment Help Call


Call Now for Immediate Help:
(269) 234-2715

Guide On
Finding Treatment
Guide On
Guide On

For Immediate Treatment Help Call:
(269) 234-2715