"What it's going to do is that they'll still have perfectly strong memories of the event. They just won't have the bad health consequences," said Ki Goosens, an assistant professor of neuroscience with the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.
The key is a lesser-known hormone produced by the stomach called ghrelin.
"One of the really interesting things about ghrelin that was sort of unexpected...was that the background levels of ghrelin go up if an organism has experienced a period of prolonged stress," Goosens said. "So the more stressed you are, the more ghrelin your stomach will churn out and so in that regard, it's a stress hormone."
During experiments, researchers found rats given a drug to stimulate ghrelin levels became more susceptible to fear -- but by blocking the receptors, the researchers reduced fear.