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Post-Traumatic Stress Replicated in Mice
Researchers haveِ foundِ a wayِ toِ trigger theِ symptoms ofِ post-traumatic stress disorder inِ mice, whichِ theyِ sayِ mayِ helpِ reveal a wayِ toِ treat PTSD inِ people.
By coupling anِ electric shock withِ anِ injection ofِ steroid hormones, researchers caused mice toِ behave asِ though theyِ hadِ PTSD, theirِ study says.
They areِ plagued byِ fearful memories thatِ comeِ on suddenly, oftenِ triggered byِ harmless cues.
Shock and stress
The researchers placedِ mice inِ a Plexiglas chamber andِ gave themِ foot shocks immediately afterِ playing a tone, causing theِ mice toِ associate theِ noise withِ theِ painful experience.
Immediately afterِ the shocks, theِ researchers injected corticosterone intoِ eachِ rodent’s hippocampus, a brain region thatِ isِ important toِ memory andِ seems impaired inِ PTSD patients.
Corticosterone isِ a hormone involved inِ stress responses.
What the findings mean for people
These findings couldِ open theِ way toِ theِ understanding ofِ the molecular bases ofِ PTSD] and, asِ a consequence, toِ theِ development ofِ efficient therapies, Desmedt said.
Not everyoneِ is convinced theِ mice inِ this experiment makeِ a good model ofِ PTSD inِ people.
The study’s findings areِ extremely relevant toِ understanding normative stress responses, butِ it isِ hard toِ seeِ howِ the findings relate toِ PTSD, saidِ Rachel Yehuda, a psychiatrist andِ neuroscientist whoِ specializes inِ PTSD atِ the Mount Sinai School ofِ Medicine inِ New York City.