Researcher Develops a Drug That Heals Broken Heart

The drug is combined with a therapy that helps people overcome traumatic events.
Loukia Papadopoulos

A Montreal researcher may have a cure for your broken heart that comes in a pill, according to a report by the BBC. Using therapy and a beta-blocker, Dr. Alain Brunet believes he can solve much of people's emotional pain.



The solution lies in a drug called propranolol, a beta-blocker traditionally used to treat such conditions as hypertension and migraines. Brunet has come up with a therapy that involves taking the drug about an hour before a session where the patient then writes about their trauma and reads it out loud.

"Often when you recall memory, if there's something new to learn, this memory will unlock and you can update it, and it will be saved again," Brunet told the BBC.

"We're using this enhanced understanding of how memories are formed and how they are unlocked and updated and saved again - we're essentially using this recent knowledge coming out of neuroscience to treat patients," said the clinical psychologist.

Where memories are stored

The reason this therapy can work is because of the memories that are stored in the brain. Their factual elements are saved in the brain's hippocampus while their emotional ones are saved in its amygdala. During Brunet's therapy, when a traumatic memory is recalled, Propranolol targets its emotional element and gets rid of its pain.

The brain then saves memory in a less emotional format. His technique has seen success with 70% of patients reporting they found relief as a result of Brunet's sessions.

Brunet does not only target the brokenhearted. His work is also used on trauma sufferers.

In France, after the terror attacks in Paris and Nice, Brunet used his technique to help treat victims, witnesses, and first responders with over 400 people having undergone the therapy.

Do you believe a drug can help with emotional pain? Does it seem too good to be true, or is it a therapy that actually works?

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board