Anesthesia can help patients forget a disturbing memory

Giving patients an anesthetic can help them forget a disturbing memory, according to research published today in the journal Science Advances. It’s the latest study to investigate the conditions that might prevent memories from sticking, and it could be a step toward finding a technique that helps people deal with harmful memories related to anxiety, trauma, or addiction.

Researchers showed 50 participants two different and unpleasant narrated slideshows. One was about kids being kidnapped, and the other was about a car accident, according to study author Ana Galarza Vallejo, a neuroscientist at the Technical University of Madrid. One week later, the scientists “reactivated” memories of only one of the slideshows by showing participants…

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