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Brain Anomaly Leaves Woman Without Fear
Date:12/16/2010

the amygdala in animals are limited, however . . . and can only speculate about what this brain region does for the experience of fear."

"This is one reason why the study . . . is so meaningful: We can now say that the amygdala is important for the expression and the subjective experience of fear," she added.

Feinstein said PTSD treatment tactics targeting the amygdala would not involve surgically removing or altering it. Rather, it is thought that the amygdala's hyperactive response in frightening situations can be modified over time through repetitively doing things a patient considers scary.

"This prolonged exposure therapy involves approaching the things causing them distress and fear the most," Feinstein said. "We don't ever want to surgically alter this area."

More information

For more on PTSD, go to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.

SOURCES: Justin Feinstein, doctoral student, University of Iowa; Alicia Izquierdo, Ph.D., assistant professor, psychology, California State University, Los Angeles; Dec. 16, 2010, Current Biology


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