Propranolol Shows Early Promise for PTSD

When I saw the post on disrupting memory retrieval to prevent relapse it brought to mind this from a couple weeks ago. Similarities between addiction cues and PTSD are interesting. Both articles discuss the relative ineffectiveness of exposure therapy and the promise of propranolol in mediating the super charged memories.

Here is a paragraph from the addiction article:

“Along with the discovery of propranolol’s cocaine-memory blocking effects, the researchers also have identified the primary players in the brain responsible for ‘extinction’ learning – the ability to replace cocaine-associated memories with associations that have no drug ‘reward.'”

And here is one from the PTSD article:

“Propranolol treatment takes a different approach. It is based on the notion that memories, once they are consolidated, can be retrieved, and they exist in a labile state during which they are susceptible to modification until they are reconsolidated. During the labile window of opportunity, which is believed to be several hours, administration of propranolol can strip the memory of its emotional meaning, making it less stressful, he explained.”