Somewhat recently there was a segment on one of the tv news magazines, like Dateline or something, that had to do with a medication that would alleviate PTSD symptoms in sufferers by somehow altering the impact of their memories. It was interesting and brought up provocative questions, as you can imagine.
River, I believe you're thinking of propranolol. Here's some of my notes from last year.
On 11/26/2006 the program 60 Minutes had a segment The Memory Pill concerning the use of a heart medication, propranolol, to lessen the traumatic memories associated with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Currently it is in early testing stages. Research indicates adrenaline causes memories to be stored more strongly and propranolol lessens the effects of adrenaline, moderating strong memories.
I wonder, could this be tested whether this moderates the symptoms and behaviors of Borderline and other Personality disorders? Of course, not all causes can be identified and traced to early childhood traumas, but many can. Could treatment with this drug, which apparently has minimal or no side effects, helped moderate the extremes of BP behaviors?
Also, some have expressed concerns that this is messing with memory. In the interview the researcher responded that we routinely give pain killers to injured persons to lessen their pain, so how is this so different? Thus far it only lessens the traumatic effects so they're more like normal memories, it doesn't wipe them out.http://www.acfnewsource.org/science/memory_pill.html
To counter the harmful effects of stress hormones like adrenaline on memory, Pitman has been experimenting with propranolol, a drug commonly used to treat hypertension. Since propranolol blocks the action of adrenaline and noradrenaline, Pitman thought it might prevent memories from being burned too deeply in the amygdala of the brain. "We figured we could give people this propranolol to affect the memory before it gets laid down," he explains. Pitman is quick to point out that the drug doesn't cause people to remember things differently, just less strongly. "We would say it would more approximate a normal memory," he says.http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/neuro/memory_drugs_sd.html