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Spider-Phobes May Get Quick Relief
Date:5/22/2012

utside of the terrarium. They progressed to touching the tarantula with a paintbrush and a glove, and eventually to petting it or holding it with their bare hands.

Following therapy, brain scans showed that the participants had much lower levels of activity in the fear-response regions of the brain when they looked at photos of spiders. This reduced activity was still seen six months after therapy.

The study was published May 21 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Fear of spiders is considered a specific phobia, a type of anxiety disorder affecting about 7 percent of the population, the news release noted.

More information

The American Psychiatric Association has more about phobias.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, May 24, 2012


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