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New Drug Shows Reduction In Negative Memory, Study

Update Date: Oct 22, 2013 05:51 PM EDT

Scientists have discovered that they can reduce negative memory in a compound linked to human memory according to a new study. 

"The Department of Psychology and the Biozentrum of the University of Basel performed a multinational collaborative study, in order to analyze the genetic basis of emotionally aversive memory - a trait central to anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder," reported the University of Basel.

According to the study researchers found 20 drug target genes that are associated with the brains method of remembering negative events. 

For the controlled study, researchers took a look at a compound involved with the previous gene it predicted had an effect on human memory. The compound was identified as an antihistamine.

"A single dose of the drug led to significant reduction of memory recall of previously seen aversive pictures; however, it did not affect memory of neutral or positive pictures," reported Basel. "These findings could have implications for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder."

Researchers found, for the first time, that genetic information for humans can be utilized to further study how a drug can adjust and vanish unpleasant memories. 

"The rapid development of innovative methods for genetic analysis has made this new and promising approach possible", Andreas Papassotiropoulos, researcher and professor at the University of Basel, said in a news release. 

Researchers hope that they will be able to provide new treatment for those who suffer from neuropsychiatric diseases.

The findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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