Battlepanda: Beta blockers blocking more than Betas


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Beta blockers blocking more than Betas

(Via Will Wilkinson)

According to the BBC, they found an beta-blocker, propranolol, have been "found to block the neurotransmitters involved in laying down memories." Rats exposed to experimental conditions that links a tone with an electric shock fails to form the fear association if propranolol is administered after the tone.

What to think. First of all, lots of people take beta-blockers for high-blood pressure. My mother, for one. And she does often complain that her blood pressure medication has taken a toll on her memory. My initial reaction was not to contemplate whether propranolol could be used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorders down the line, and the Brave New World scenario such a use threatens. I'm more concerned about people who are taking propranolol right now for their blood pressure, under the proprietory name of Inderol. What is happening to their memory?