Frequently, someone who has suffered a nightmarish injury knows, all too well, that after the physical injuries have healed, the memory traces continue to lurk in the shadows. Researchers tell us that those memory trace shadows exist in the prefrontal cortex of our brain, which controls emotion and learning.
A professor of physiology at Northwestern University School of Medicine, Vania Apkarian, suspects that the trace memory of the horrific event carries with it an emotional component that may be the cause for the chronic pain associated with the injury. He believes that with the drug D-Cycloserine he can break the association of the trace memories with the associated chronic pain.
For over a decade D-Cycloserine has been used to treat phobic behavior. Recently Apkarian has shown in animal studies that the drug is able to reduce the emotional suffering associated with an injury.
Apkarian plans to move to the next phase, which includes clinical trials. The government site that lists clinical trials indicates that the study has not yet begun patient recruitment.