Scientists have been able to understand the principle of a protein that affects memories. They believe the research will help people treat stress, psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The protein itself is not capable of erasing memories. Scientists propose to use it only as an indicator which can show whether it is real to alter the patient’s memories.
In science, it is common to divide memory into two areas: actual memory and instinctive memory. Factual memory is thought to remember facts, brand names, people’s names, and the like. Instinctive memory stores emotions, skills, and experiences.
There is a hypothesis that the latter type of memory can be modified. A group of scientists from the United States in 2004 tried to prove it. In the experiment, they used a drug called propranololol, which did affect memory and could change memories. However, the results of the study were questioned because of the dry explanation of how the drug works and the difficulty in replicating the results.
Recently, British scientists explained the workings of the shank protein. It acts as a framework for receptors that determine the amount of connection between neurons. Scientists noted that when the protein is cleaved, it means that memory fragments can be edited. Otherwise, propranolol has no effect on memory.