Could "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" Become Reality?
According to the Calgary Herald, a University of Calgary researcher is studying the effects of crystal meth on memory. The goal of the research is to develop a new treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The research study on the effect of crystal meth on memory was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
The study showed that crystal meth greatly improved the memory of pond snails. The study has given researchers hope that they can develop ways of altering memory with the drug. Of course, improved memory could be extremely beneficial for some illnesses and aging, I don't know anyone with PTSD who wants a better memory.
The University of Calgary professor, Kenneth Lukowiak, says that crystal meth makes the genes responsible for memory easier to alter. The hope is that a non-addictive drug with some properties of crystal meth could be developed to alter memory. This could possibly lead to an application of this research to remove the memory of the traumatic event or help the person integrate the damaging memory into a less emotionally charged form. This reminds me of the movie, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." I know I can't be the only person with PTSD who was just a little jealous of the characters in that movie.
Could it become a reality? The research concludes that meth allowed the genes responsible for long-term memory to be turned on or off. To me, a finding like this one generates more questions than answers. For example, does crystal meth have any effect on a person's memory? I do not know anyone on crystal meth, but I have never heard that people on crystal meth have a superior memory. Have you?
I would think that there was some noticeable effect on memory if this research finding is substantial and applicable to humans. Of course, there could be factors that are unclear since I am neither an expert in biology or crystal meth. Another question is whether a crystal meth-like drug could treat PTSD by altering the memory or if it could only prevent PTSD by not allowing the trauma to enter into long-term memory, much like Tetris has been used. It will be interesting to see if this research study eventually leads to a new PTSD treatment.