Relapse prevention during addiction recovery can be incredibly trying as addicts grapple with drug-associated memories that tempt them to go back to using. Scientists out of the Scripps Research Institute are moving closer to a new form of therapy that might erase these types of memories to prevent relapse or addiction risk. Published in Molecular Psychiatry, the study highlights the effectiveness of a drug called blebbistatin in the form of a single injection in blocking drug-associated memories. By selectively targeting a molecular motor that supports the formation of memories, the researchers discovered the possibility of blocking storage of long-term memories.
TSRI researcher Courtney Miller explains: “We now have a viable target and by blocking that target, we can disrupt, and potentially erase, drug memories, leaving other memories intact. The hope is that, when combined with traditional rehabilitation and abstinence therapies, we can reduce or eliminate relapse for meth users after a single treatment by taking away the power of an individual’s triggers.”
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