Harnessing Reconsolidation to Treat Mental Disorders

  • Roger K. Pitman
    Address correspondence to Roger K. Pitman, M.D., MGH-East, 120 Second Avenue, Charlestown, MA 02129.
    Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
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      In the 1990s, LeDoux, a prominent behavioral neuroscientist, asserted the proposition that “emotional memory may be forever” (
      • LeDoux J.E.
      The Emotional Brain.
      ). Not addressed was the question how anything can last forever, especially something preserved in a gelatinous blob of cholesterol, phospholipids, glycerophosphatides, sphingomyelin, and other substances. “This too shall pass.”
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      Linked Article

      • An Abrupt Transformation of Phobic Behavior After a Post-Retrieval Amnesic Agent
        Biological PsychiatryVol. 78Issue 12
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          Although disrupting the process of memory reconsolidation has a great potential for clinical practice, the fear-amnesic effects are typically demonstrated through Pavlovian conditioning. Given that older and stronger memories are generally more resistant to change, we tested whether disrupting reconsolidation would also diminish fear in individuals who had developed a persistent spider fear outside the laboratory.
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