Could Meth-Related Memories Be Erased
It would be ground-breaking if drug-associated memories could be erased from the minds of recovering addicts. It’s an unfortunate reality that many individuals who are recovering from drug addiction continue to struggle with memories which can temp them to relapse for months and even years after rehab treatment.
The Possibility Of Meth-Associated Memory Removal
The possibility of memory removal may be in our near future. Researchers at Scripps Institute are currently working to learn more about how a particular protein, called actin, can help remove unwanted memories. This protein, which supports the connection between brain neurons, enables the brain to make new memories. During the process, it stabilizes and secures memories. Interestingly, actin doesn’t stabilize in meth-associated memories.
It is unknown why meth-related memories are more fragile than other types of memories. Some researchers believe that it could be related to levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in the reward and pleasure centers in the brain.
While new research into actin opens up a wealth of opportunity in terms of developing potential treatments for addicts battling memories that can lead to relapse, there is still the challenge of developing a way to target it because the protein is essential for body functions. Simply inhibiting actin would have dangerous consequences, such as inhibiting heart function and cell development.
In a new study from the Scripps research team, a molecule, called nonmuscle myosin IIB (myosin) is being looked at for its potential in helping erase drug-associated memories. The molecule helps actin form memories, but doesn’t affect other biological functions. The team created a drug called Blebbistatin (Blebb) to disrupt myosin in meth-addicted mice. With a single dose of Blebb, meth-associated memories were erased for 30 days in meth-addicted mice.
The Potential Of Blebb As An Addiction Treatment
Researchers are only in the early stages of determining if Blebb could be beneficial in treating meth addiction in humans. There is hope that when combined with other addiction treatments, such as therapy and 12-step programs, it could help reduce or even completely eliminate the chance of relapse for meth users by taking away the power of an individual’s triggers. There may also be the potential of using the drug to treat addiction to other drugs or even help individuals overcome painful memories of trauma.
Don’t Wait To Get Help
While there are many promising advances in addiction treatment that may be available in the future, it’s important to know that addiction is a progressive disease. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, don’t wait for new treatment options or for the problem to go away on its own.
Each day, addiction strengthens, and treatment becomes more difficult. The best option is to choose an individualized addiction treatment program that addresses both the specific addiction and the underlying causes. Many people who have struggled for years from addiction go on to live fulfilling, healthy lives in recovery. The first step is asking for help. Don’t wait another day, call now to speak with an addiction specialist. Your journey of recovery can begin today!