Antihistamine may reduce bad memories
Researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland have found that a popular antihistamine can interact with targeted genes to reduce negative memories. And that, say the scientists, could potentially help treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The study, published in the journal PNAS, sought to identify genes to which drugs could be targeted. The researchers were able to identify 20 potential drug target genes, and then found that one chemical compound--which happens to be a antihistamine--interacted with the targeted genes. In fact, just one dose of it resulted in a major reduction in recalling negative memories. In this study, that meant disturbing pictures the participants had previously seen.
In addition, the antihistamine did not affect neutral or positive memory of pictures. Scientists hope that this research could lead to new treatments for PTSD, which affects about 7.7 million adults in the U.S.