By Milly Vincent For Mailonline
Published: 11:58 GMT, 1 November 2019 | Updated: 14:24 GMT, 1 November 2019
Scientists are developing a pill that could help you forget bad memories - and they have just tested it on 60 heart broken people.
Dr. Alain Brunet's memory manipulation study at the McGill University in Quebec, Canada, hopes to bring about a pioneering technique for the easing of painful memories.
What had previously been a science fiction fantasy, discarding unwanted memories, may become a reality for those suffering from an 'adjustment disorder' after experiencing a traumatic event.
Fictional memory removal: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet - 2004. Where Jim Carrey's character receives treatment to remove memories of his ex
Of the 60 people who signed up for the psychiatry study all had experienced the same emotion, the betrayal of their partner ending the romantic relationship, and all wanted to forget it.
Using a non-expensive blood pressure drug, propranolol, the volunteers were made to recall their painful memory by reading a very detailed account of the break up that they had written, before being asked personal questions about their feelings.
They were made to do this between four and six times while under the influence of propranolol with the aim of reactivating the memory to decrease its strength by blocking the synapse changes needed to solidify its existence.
Dr Brunet believes propranolol can dull the emotional pain associated with the memory, and could be taken at any point after the event.
Propranolol is a beta-blocker that was originally used to treat heart and circulatory conditions, including tremors and high blood pressure, and is also in use to reduce the symptoms of anxiety such as a rapid heart rate or sweating.