Trauma pill, would you take one?

Moderators: DrVolin, 82_28, Elvis, Jeff

Trauma pill, would you take one?

Postby Asta » Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:52 pm

Saw this article on AOL and I found it disturbing. I wanted to<br>hear your thoughts. I took the poll first, I said: No, I wouldn't take the pill. The majority of voters voted they would.<br><br>Then after reading the article, I can say that maybe there may be certain circumstances when this drug would be necessary, but still, I have problems with the concept. <br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20060114130509990001&ncid=NWS00010000000001">aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/...0000000001</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><br>"Suppose you could erase bad memories from your mind. Suppose, as in a recent movie, your brain could be wiped clean of sad and traumatic thoughts.<br><br>That is science fiction. But real-world scientists are working on the next best thing. They have been testing a pill that, when given after a traumatic event like rape, may make the resulting memories less painful and intense.<br><br>Will it work? It is too soon to say. Still, it is not far-fetched to think that this drug someday might be passed out along with blankets and food at emergency shelters after disasters like the tsunami or Hurricane Katrina.<br><br>Psychiatrist Hilary Klein could have offered it to the man she treated at a St. Louis shelter over the Labor Day weekend. He had fled New Orleans and was so distraught over not knowing where his sisters were that others had to tell Klein his story.<br><br>"This man could not even give his name, he was in such distress. All he could do was cry," she said.<br><br>Such people often develop post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, a problem first recognized in Vietnam War veterans. Only 14 percent to 24 percent of trauma victims experience long-term PTSD, but sufferers have flashbacks and physical symptoms that make them feel as if they are reliving the trauma years after it occurred.<br><br>Scientists think it happens because the brain goes haywire during and right after a strongly emotional event, pouring out stress hormones that help store these memories in a different way than normal ones are preserved.<br><br>Taking a drug to tamp down these chemicals might blunt memory formation and prevent PTSD, they theorize.<br><br>Some doctors have an even more ambitious goal: trying to cure PTSD. They are deliberately triggering very old bad memories and then giving the pill to deep-six them.<br><br>The first study to test this approach on 19 longtime PTSD sufferers has provided early encouraging results, Canadian and Harvard University researchers report.<br><br>"We figure we need to test about 10 more people until we've got solid evidence." said Alain Brunet, a psychologist at McGill University in Montreal who is leading the study.<br><br>It can't come too soon.<br><br>The need for better treatment grows daily as American troops return from Iraq and Afghanistan with wounded minds as well as bodies. One government survey found almost 1 in 6 showing symptoms of mental stress, including many with post-traumatic stress disorder. Disability payments related to the illness cost the government more than $4 billion a year.<br><br>The need is even greater in countries ravaged by many years of violence.<br><br>"I don't think there's yet in our country a sense of urgency about post-traumatic stress disorder" but there should be, said James McGaugh, director of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California at Irvine.<br><br>He and a colleague, Larry Cahill, did experiments that changed how scientists view memory formation and suggested new ways to modify it.<br><br>Memories, painful or sweet, don't form instantly after an event but congeal over time. Like slowly hardening cement, there is a window of opportunity when they are shapable.<br><br>During stress, the body pours out adrenaline and other "fight or flight" hormones that help write memories into the "hard drive" of the brain, McGaugh and Cahill showed.<br><br>Propranolol can blunt this. It is in a class of drugs called beta blockers and is the one most able to cross the blood-brain barrier and get to where stress hormones are wreaking havoc. It already is widely used to treat high blood pressure and is being tested for stage fright.<br><br>Dr. Roger Pitman, a Harvard University psychiatrist, did a pilot study to see whether it could prevent symptoms of PTSD. He gave 10 days of either the drug or dummy pills to accident and rape victims who came to the Massachusetts General Hospital emergency room.<br><br>In follow-up visits three months later, the patients listened to tapes describing their traumatic events as researchers measured their heart rates, palm sweating and forehead muscle tension.<br><br>The eight who had taken propranolol had fewer stress symptoms than the 14 who received dummy pills, but the differences in the frequency of symptoms were so small they might have occurred by chance - a problem with such tiny experiments.<br><br>Still, "this was the first study to show that PTSD could be prevented," McGaugh said, and enough to convince the federal government to fund a larger one that Pitman is doing now.<br><br>Meanwhile, another study on assault and accident victims in France confirmed that propranolol might prevent PTSD symptoms.<br><br>One of those researchers, Brunet, now has teamed with Pitman on the boldest experiment yet - trying to cure longtime PTSD sufferers.<br><br>"We are trying to reopen the window of opportunity to modulate the traumatic memory," Pitman said.<br><br>The experiments are being done in Montreal and involve people traumatized as long as 20 or 30 years ago by child abuse, sexual assault or a serious accident.<br><br>"It's amazing how a traumatic memory can remain very much alive. It doesn't behave like a regular memory. The memory doesn't decay," Brunet said.<br><br>To try to make it decay, researchers ask people to describe the trauma as vividly as they can, bringing on physical symptoms like racing hearts, then give them propranolol to blunt "restorage" of the memory. As much as three months later, the single dose appears to be preventing PTSD symptoms, Brunet said.<br><br>Joseph LeDoux, a neuroscience professor at New York University, is enrolling 20 to 30 people in a similar experiment and believes in the approach.<br><br>"Each time you retrieve a memory it must be restored," he said. "When you activate a memory in the presence of a drug that prevents the restorage of the memory, the next day the memory is not as accessible."<br><br>Not all share his enthusiasm, as McGaugh found when he was asked to brief the President's Council on Bioethics a few years ago.<br><br>"They didn't say anything at the time but later they went ballistic on it," he said.<br><br>Chairman Leon Kass contended that painful memories serve a purpose and are part of the human experience.<br><br>McGaugh says that's preposterous when it comes to trauma like war. If a soldier is physically injured, "you do everything you can to make him whole," but if he says he is upset "they say, 'suck it up - that's the normal thing,"' he complained.<br><br>Propranolol couldn't be given to soldiers in battle because it would curb survival instincts.<br><br>"They need to be able to run and to fight," Pitman said. "But if you could take them behind the lines for a couple of days, then you could give it to them after a traumatic event," or before they're sent home, he said.<br><br>Some critics suggest that rape victims would be less able to testify against attackers if their memories were blunted, or at least that defense attorneys would argue that.<br><br>"Medical concerns trump legal concerns. I wouldn't withhold an effective treatment from somebody because of the possibility they may have to go to court a year later and their testimony be challenged. We wouldn't do that in any other area of medicine," Pitman said. "The important thing to know about this drug is it doesn't put a hole in their memory. It doesn't create amnesia."<br><br>Practical matters may limit propranolol's usefulness. It must be given within a day or two of trauma to prevent PTSD.<br><br>How long any benefits from the drug will last is another issue. McGaugh said some animal research suggests that memory eventually recovers after being squelched for a while by the drug.<br><br>Overtreatment also is a concern. Because more than three-quarters of trauma victims don't have long-term problems, most don't need medication.<br><br>But LeDoux sees little risk in propranolol.<br><br>"It's a pretty harmless drug," he said. "If you could give them one or two pills that could prevent PTSD, that would be a pretty good thing."<br><br>Klein, the Saint Louis University psychiatrist, said it would be great to have something besides sleep aids, antidepressants and counseling to offer traumatized people, but she remains skeptical about how much long-term good propranolol can do.<br><br>"If there were a pill to reduce the intensity of symptoms, that would be a relief," she said. "But that's a far step from being able to prevent the development of PTSD."<br><br>Only more study will tell whether that is truly possible.<br><br><br>01/14/06 13:03 EST"<br><br><br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
Asta
 
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 2:48 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Trauma pill, would you take one?

Postby anotherdrew » Sun Jan 15, 2006 4:40 pm

I posted about this a long time ago also, Propranolol - I wonder how long they've actually known all about this? It sure seems remarkably like a tool that may have been in use for some time amongst the mind control researchers.<br>They can use hypnosis to bring memories up from 'long term memory' then administer this drug which blocks restorage in long term memory... Memory forgotten. Most likely it will leave hints of it behind, which a person trying hard enogh might be able to use to bring at least parts of the memory back. It would be a question of how much time the brain has had to interlink the memory with other memories I'd guess. If used right after an event it could block it out almost totally. <br><br>Also, Is this going to become the next "date rape drug" ? <p></p><i></i>
anotherdrew
 
Posts: 528
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 6:06 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

propranolal

Postby robertdreed » Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:20 pm

Propranonal isn't a knockout drop. It simply lowers blood pressure, and reduces excitation of the sympathetic nervous system. It's a very common blood pressure medicine, available with a refillable presecription.<br><br>I don't think propranolol is a magic pill that cures everything. However, it's well-known that states of nervous excitation intensify memories. If those memories are unpleasant, perhaps using propranolol or something similar can help "clear" them by reducing their impact upon recall. In terms of inducing an "altered state", it's a mild drug. <br><br>Many people have reported that propranolol simply helped give them a boost toward having the experience of being able to perform publically without crippling anxiety, and that after having had a few successes they no longer require the drug.<br><br>Is it "cheating" to cure or lessen stage fright with a pill? I don't think so. <br><br>Same with PTSD.<br><br><br><br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
robertdreed
 
Posts: 1560
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 11:14 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

very disturbing drug

Postby ir » Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:22 pm

THis is the "dream drug" for perps of ALL sorts. there was a debate here in Israel, in one of the weekend magazines. Surprisingly, there was opposition as well, mentioning specifically the CIA/MK ultra etc. <br>I was on this medication, I beleive, for quite a while for hypertension (now I am thinking there was more to it...paranoia abounds...). Frankly, if this was used as a regular medication for hypertension I can't see how it can be so potent in erasing memory. I doubt it works so generally, it has to be done with hypnosis as described here, with the intention to create a certain conrolled process. <br>the capacity to control access to data stored in memory exists already for some time. <p></p><i></i>
ir
 
Posts: 254
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:09 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: propranolal

Postby anotherdrew » Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:26 pm

perhaps I'm mixed up about the exact name of the drug I'm talking about. but the drug I'm refering to and read about in newscientist actually blocks long term memory formation. For instance: give the person the drug, have them watch a movie, ask them what movie they watched later that day after the drug has worn off - they can't remember anything about it.<br><br>the other way of using it is this: undruged have a person watch a movie. Next day ask them about it, and they are able to remember it, and ask about it in detail, fully remembering as much as possible, just to prove how much they remember. NExt day have them come in, give them the drug, hypnotise them, have them 'rewatch' the movie fully remembering every bit they can while hypnotised, or even not hypnotised. Once the drug wears off, next day ask them about the movie, they won't be able to remember much at all about it.<br><br>Scary stuff here. I'll try to find more reference on this, but it'll probably take me a day or two or more, it was in the print edition I saw the article, and not sure which one and I don't want to search through paper copies for hours. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=anotherdrew>anotherdrew</A> at: 1/15/06 2:31 pm<br></i>
anotherdrew
 
Posts: 528
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 6:06 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Trauma pill, would you take one?

Postby StarmanSkye » Sun Jan 15, 2006 6:01 pm

I have concerns about this whole approach to chemically manipulating memory and feelings -- especially w/r/t minimizing combat stress. A 'cure' for eliminating negative feelings or conscience would likely be used by Military leadership to further minimize troops' moral restrictions and inherant resistance to causing great suffering. This relates to critical issues of troop desensitization, the military culture of Obey: Don't Think for yourself or Challenge Orders, and institutionalized rascism which are too-common features of warfare that (as we've seen happened to a great extent in Vietnam and now Iraq) contribute to the commission of horrific crimes, brutality, abuse and gratuitous violence. That ONLY approximately one in four soldiers serving in Iraq experience PTSD is a testiment to the training and emotional conditioning they receive (in addition, some soldiers are less-disposed by inclination or can compartmentalize their feelings, etc.) To the extent that 'treating' soldiers and innoculating them against traumatic stress helps make warfare more 'acceptable', and diverts public attention, debate and effort from addressing the moral and legal consequences of a political warmaking culture that is predisposed to using war and violence as an expedient and even preferred instrument of foreign policy, I am suspicious and critical of this whole approach.<br><br>I think an added consideration to this notion of memory modification is that long-term memories are a distributed function, with a high degree of redundancy. <br><br>Personally, I'm leery of all mind-manipulation technologies -- I'd make a horrible hypnosis subject as I would resist 'surrendering' control to an external agent.<br>But I can sure see how tempting a quick 'fix' would be for many people to minimize or eliminate deep-seated emotional unease or serious psychopathologies. As an idealist, I would probably prefer to 'work things out' in my head, wholistically and organically, rather than relying on a trauma pill -- probably because I tend to think things happen for a reason, and that life is a series of 'lessons', most importantly metaphysically and interpersonally.<br><br>But then, I've had my share of mental and emotional anguish that had little real 'benefit' to them -- and so it sure would have been great to have had an opportunity to just take a pill and get over it with relatively little fuss.<br><br>I guess the thing is -- as with many complex issues, 'it depends'. Interesting question tho -- even if it is (still) hypothetical.<br>Starman <p></p><i></i>
StarmanSkye
 
Posts: 2670
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:32 pm
Location: State of Jefferson
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Trauma pill, would you take one?

Postby * » Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:30 am

<br><br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.emdr-therapy.com/emdr-faq.html">EMDR</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br> <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"Studies consistently show that treatment with EMDR result in elimination of the targeted emotion . The memory is remains but the negative response is neutralized."</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
*
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:48 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Health

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest