Whenever we think about “erased memories,” we tend to picture stories from the science fiction genre. After all, how many times have we read novels or comic books where one or more of the characters are brainwashed by a mad genius? Let’s also not forget television shows that capitalize an entire plot around this concept. However, as it turns out, scientists are actually exploring the possibility of erasing specific memories in an attempt to help cocaine addicts. In a recent study, researchers tested this theory on lab rats, and produced incredible results. Could a memory eraser really be one of the keys to overcoming drug addiction in the future? Let’s take a closer look and find out some more information.
Blotting out a Few Memories
In a recent test involving lab rats, a group of researchers may have discovered a method for erasing memories that are directly linked to cocaine use in an effort to prevent future relapses. Overall, medical professionals have argued how this would be much more effective than current “exposure therapy programs,” which will not properly prepare addicts for reintegration into the outside world. So, how on earth is this process even possible?
According to the reports, the scientists used a technique called optogenetics, where light pulses manipulate cells (genetically modified variants) to reprogram neurons linked to cocaine use. Dr. Mary Torregrossa (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine) explains how the brain naturally forms cue-assisted memories, but the actual map for these neurons was never uncovered.
Solving the Brain Puzzle
Ultimately, “exposure treatment” follows a similar course, in that it attempts to break connections between cues and memories, but patients may not follow this new thought pattern after leaving the controlled environment of the care center. As part of the optogenetics processed used on the rats, the scientists discovered the amygdala and the medial geniculate nucleus played major roles in this thought “reprogramming.” In a shocking twist, the researchers could literally manipulate the neuron pathways and eradicate the cocaine-related memories in the rats’ brains.
Seeking Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
Possibly one of the most dangerous stimulants on the market, cocaine has claimed thousands of lives and has ruined many more since it was adopted into American drug culture. Filled with toxins, this substance might make you feel good after the first try, but cocaine will quickly take over your life before you know what hit you. Do not allow this to happen to you. You have control over your body, not cocaine.
If you are suffering from a severe form of cocaine addiction or have a friend or loved one who is suffering from this same problem, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process detox and withdrawal and guide you through each step of the rehabilitation process to help you separate yourself from drug and alcohol.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your addiction problems today. The time to take back control of your life is now.