KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Researchers think a new treatment may be able to cure you of that phobia, according to a study published in Biological Psychiatry.
During the study 45 spider fearing volunteers were exposed to a tarantula for two minutes. One group received a placebo and one group received propranolol, a beta blocker used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions.
Researchers said the beta blocker works to reduce a chemical that is formed in the brain when short-term memory switches to long term memory. During the study it induced amnesia for the learned fear of spiders when the memory was activated by the turantula.
Those that received the beta blocker in combination with the spider showed reduced ‘avoidance behavior’ and showed more ‘approach behavior.’ What’s more, participants reported the effects lasted for at least one year after the study.
Researchers said the breakthrough could help solve other anxiety disorders and post traumatic stress disorder, which currently take multiple therapy sessions.