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C. A Cure for Remembering Too Well

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researcher Larry Cahill of the University of California, Irvine was on the team that discovered one reason that you remember some things better than others: during emotional or important events, your body releases adrenaline, which somehow boosts memory.

Cahill: There's two immediate clear practical applications of this work. The first is for people who aren't remembering well enough. The second is for people who are remembering too well.

Narrator: Cahill says it might be quite possible to boost the adrenal systems of people with impaired memories.

Cahill: A second implication which I think is more immediate and which we're working on right now is for people who have suffered through traumatic events, which has created memories that are too good, memories that are too strong, memories that incapacitate them and won't go away.

Narrator: In other words, people with post-traumatic stress disorder. Cahill and his fellow researchers are working on ways to prevent the formation of traumatic memories by blocking the adrenal system as soon as possible after a traumatic event. For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.