A pill to blot out bad memories?

Want to forget that bad breakup or PC meltdown?

In a real life twist to the Jim Carrey movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," U.S. psychiatrists say they've found a way to blot out horrible memories. According to a scoop reported in Nature's print magazine this week, a group of mental health experts claim that a commonly used drug for treating high blood pressure and heart problems, called beta blockers, can interfere with the way the brain stores memories.

The theory is that if beta-blockers are administered at the right time, people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder could find relief from periods of panic, never the wiser, according to the report. Proponents say that it could be a useful treatment for victims of the recent terrorist bombings in London. But critics fear the drug could be abused in other cases. Just see the movie for a cautionary tale.

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by Brian Bennett