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:2/5/2016)... Toronto, Ontario (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... the Scarborough General Hospital Burn Unit, plastic and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Wayne Carman transitioned ... the Scarborough Hospital. He successfully completed his first three-year term as chief and began ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... US Sports Camps , official ... NH to direct high-performance kids yoga training. ChildLight Yoga Studio is centrally situated in ... from Boston. , ChildLight Yoga Studio founder Lisa Flynn expresses her excitement, “We are ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Pass, OR (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... with modern technology, such water may be safer than regular municipal or well water. ... advocate and radio host Sharon Kleyne, could go a long way toward increasing public ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Give To Cure today ... for and donate to Give To Cure’s campaign that is crowdfunding clinical trials to ... make and share payments through a smart device. In 2015 alone, Venmo processed $7.5 ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... WA (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... firm, ranked #3 in the 2015 Best in KLAS: Software & Services for ... The annual Best in KLAS report independently ranks vendor performance by healthcare executives, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... 2016 Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEMD ), ... will be presenting at Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth ... at 2:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 10, 2016.  ... taking place at 3:15 p.m. ET. http://www.aethlonmedical.com .  ... after the conclusion of the live event. The panel discussion ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... York , February 5, 2016 ... Transparency Market Research report states that the global active ... 2014 and is predicted to reach US$185.9 bn by ... of 6.50% from 2014 to 2020. The title of ... Chemical/Biological, Captive/Contract Manufactured, by Geography, and by Therapeutic Area) ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Ind. , Feb. 5, 2016  Zimmer Biomet ... pricing of the previously announced underwritten secondary offering of ... its stockholders, consisting of affiliates of Blackstone and Goldman ... at an initial price of $96.45 per share. The ... the offering.  Neither Zimmer Biomet nor any of its ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: