Scientists have erased memories of sleeping mice


Scientists at Stanford University say they have managed to erase traumatic memories of mice while they were sleeping. The study aims to help people suffering from post-traumatic stress, says Nature. The standard treatment involves recollecting and talking about the painful events over and over again, in order to overcome this moment and learn to accept it. 

In their study, scientists have induced this disease in mice. Every time they were exposed to jasmine scent, rodents were shocked. Then, half of the mice received the conventional treatment. While they were sleeping, they were exposed to the smell of jasmine, but not accompanied by the electric shocks. These mice, just like humans with post-traumatic stress, tended to regain the symptoms of the disease.

The other group of animals was tested with an innovative technique. Researchers gave mice a drug to block production of a protein in an area of ​​the amygdala. That's a part of the brain associated with fear causing memories. The drug was administrated just before going to bed. Then, the researchers exposed the animals to the smell of jasmine. On awakening, the animals did not seem to fear jasmine anymore. 

Scientists say that this technique could be used in humans very soon. They believe that anti-anxiety drugs could have the same effects in humans. 

I hope this medical discover will not fall into the wrong hands...