Widely used heart medications,beta blocker propranolol, may
take the terror out of disturbing memories in people with
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), researchers report.

In two small studies, use of propranolol during a PTSD attack
appeared to help separate the fear that's characteristic of
PTSD from the memory that once triggered it. Researchers
were able to reduce the [emotional] intensity of traumatic
memories by giving people propranolol for the first 10 days or
so after an accident. However, PTSD is rather rare, with less
than 10 percent of accident victims experiencing the recurrent
flashbacks, isolation and avoidant behaviors that are hallmarks
of the condition.

The beta blocker does not erase or diminish the memory. But, it
may work to reduce memory-associated fear through their
effects on hormones linked to fear and arousal. During or after a
PTSD attack, are released in our body to make the memory
stronger and more intense. Beta blocker blocks adrenergic
receptor that adrenalin hormones work. Theoretically, by
blocking this hormonal response during memory-evoked PTSD
attacks, individuals can still remember the triggering event
without its attendant panic and fear.

Source: Heart Drugs Could Ease Trauma Memories HealthDay
News July 29 2005