In this article for Scientific American, I talk about a new study that may have found an unusual use for a popular pain drug. Could Tylenol – also known by the drug name acetaminophen – really be the anti-anxiety drug of the future? If so, how would that work? Why would it work? And are high doses of Tylenol safe for patients’ bodies?
The brain scans were clear: The ACCs of people who’d been taking acetaminophen didn’t respond nearly as strongly to feelings of social rejection as the ACCs of people who’d been on a placebo. The drug was buffering feelings of social pain – not by muting people’s emotions or fears, but by somehow toning down the brain’s central sense that anything was wrong or at risk in those particular scenarios.
Read more of my article at Scientific American.