Navigation Links
Study Probes Roots of Fearful Memories
Date:8/22/2007

Neurochemical sears traumatic moments into the brain, study suggests

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- New research is helping scientists understand why frightening, traumatic memories go so deep and linger so long in the human brain.

A study in rats shows that a powerful neurochemical called norepinephrine is released to help the brain deal with trauma -- but it also "imprints" an emotional fear tagged to the memory of that event.

These emotionally loaded memories could help cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), said a team at Harvard University. But the findings may also provide a target for treatment, they added.

"Norepinephrine is released in a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is associated with emotional conditions, particularly in bad situations," said lead researcher Vadim Bolshakov, director of the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital, in Belmont, Mass.

In addition, norepinephrine -- also called noradrenalin -- makes memories last longer, Bolshakov said. "There is some evidence that norepinephrine is involved in the transition from short-term memory to long-term memory," he said.

According to Bolshakov, experiments with rats suggest that when a traumatic event occurs, a surge of norepinephrine occurs in the brain.

In the new study, Bolshakov's team used the rodents' fear of certain sounds to uncover the mechanisms driving fearful behavior. The animals learned to associate a sound with a mild foot shock.

The researchers looked at tissue slices from the amygdala region of the rat's brain that were then infused with norepinephrine. They observed how norepinephrine increased fear-learning through brain cell pathways linked to fear conditioning, Bolshakov said.

"We could see how the brain cells 'talked' to each other," Bolshakov said. "This could be a model of PTSD," because norepinephrine increased long-term memory in emotionally charged situations, he said.

PTSD and other mental conditions, such as generalized anxiety disorder, are associated with fear conditioning. The finding could lead to a better understanding of these conditions, too -- as well as better treatments, Bolshakov said.

He believes that blocking norepinephrine production as soon as possible after a traumatic event might prevent PTSD, because these events would be blocked from becoming long-term memories.

More information

For more information on PTSD, visit the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.



SOURCES: Vadim Bolshakov, Ph.D., director, Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass.; Aug. 20-24, 2007, online edition, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Gene study links endometriosis, infertility
2. Study reveals how stress can make you sick
3. Study points out that HIV vaccine may not be accepted easily
4. A new study surpasses Gene Therapy Hurdle
5. Tomato Sauce reduces Cancer Risk- Study
6. A question on study of Adult Stem Cell
7. Study on obesity and heart failure
8. National Lung Study in the process
9. Marijuana gateway theory strengthened by study of twins
10. Old theory of adaptation confirmed by new study
11. Study casts doubt on keyboard ills
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/25/2017)... ... July 25, 2017 , ... Centurion Service Group ... Regional Account Manager for the Northeast and Florida regions. In this role, Jennifer ... obsolete medical assets. , Jennifer joins Centurion with a wealth of knowledge and ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... July 25, 2017 , ... ... fastest growing ATM provider in the United States, today announced its partnership with ... financial institutions. , The foundation of the solution lies within Hyosung’s superior ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... July 24, 2017 , ... Engineers at the University of Maryland have ... same kind of electrical energy that the body uses. , In ordinary batteries ... flow of electrons out of the battery is generated by moving positive ions from ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 24, 2017 , ... ... the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) State Targeted Response ... California Department of Health Care Services, will facilitate the development of a hub ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 24, 2017 , ... Every year, ... invigorating and educational conference, InstructureCon. Each annual event is coupled with a dynamic theme ... with a James Bond theme, Mission: InstructureCon 0017. , To extend their partnership ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/13/2017)... 13, 2017 RK Logistics Group, Inc. was awarded ... for its Fremont, CA headquarters facility ... Tri-Valley and San Jose for hi-tech, ... Fremont , with its Fremont Innovation District, is excited ... a powerful resource to the hundreds of biotech, pharma and ...
(Date:7/12/2017)... ANGELES , July 12, 2017 CarpalAID is a ... drugs, braces or surgery. Carpal tunnel syndrome affects more ... syndrome at twice the rate of men. The common methods of ... or mobilization with uncomfortable hand braces or gloves. ... CarpalAID is a clear ...
(Date:7/11/2017)... , July 11, 2017 Zymo Research Corp., also known ... that can quantify biological aging in a precise manner using the myDNAge ... Steve Horvath , a professor of human genetics and biostatistics at the ... School of Public Health , Zymo Research,s proprietary DNAge ™ technology ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: