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#241698 - 08/01/08 08:56 AM Trauma and memories
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Traumatic response to bad memories can be minimized
UCI scientists identify the brain-cell mechanisms involved with adverse memories and point way to panic disorder treatments
Irvine, Calif. UC Irvine researchers have identified the brain mechanism that switches off traumatic feelings associated with bad memories, a finding that could lead to the development of drugs to treat panic disorders.

Scientists from UCI and the University of Muenster in Germany found that a small brain protein called neuropeptide S is involved in erasing traumatic responses to adverse memories by working on a tiny group of neurons inside the amygdala where those memories are stored.

"The exciting part of this study is that we have discovered a completely new process that regulates the adverse responses to bad memories," said Rainer Reinscheid, pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences associate professor at UCI. "These findings can help the development of new drugs to treat conditions in which people are haunted by persistent fears, such as posttraumatic stress disorder or other panic disorders." The study appears in the July 31 issue of Neuron.

In tests, scientists exposed mice to situations that caused adverse memories. The scientists saw that when NPS receptors in amygdala neurons are blocked, the traumatic responses to bad memories persisted longer. In turn, when scientists treated the mice with compounds activating these receptors, traumatic responses disappeared faster.

After a traumatic experience, environmental cues often become associated with the bad experience and re-exposure to the same environment can trigger fearful emotions or even panic attacks, according to Reinscheid.

Other research has shown that forgetting such negative experiences may require "new learning," such as re-exposure to the place where the original experience occurred but this time without any harmful consequences. Reinscheid said this process, called the extinction of memories, occurs in both humans and laboratory animals such as mice. Until this study, scientists did not know about the specific neurons and molecules involved with extinction learning of fear memories in the brain.

Previous work by Reinscheid's group has shown that NPS is involved in regulating wakefulness and anxiety. Last year, they found evidence that a particular genetic variant of the NPS receptor may increase vulnerability to panic disorder.


###

Stewart D. Clark, Naoe Okamura, Dee M. Duangdao, Yan-Ling Xu of UC Irvine, and Kay Juengling, Thomas Seidenbecher, Ludmila Sosulina, Joerg Lesting, Susan Sangha and Hans-Christian Pape of the University of Muenster also worked on this study, which was funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health.

About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students and nearly 2,000 faculty members. The third-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.6 billion. For more UCI news, visit http://www.today.uci.edu.

News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. The use of this line is available free-of-charge to radio news programs/stations who wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.

UCI maintains an online directory of faculty available as experts to the media. To access, visit http://www.today.uci.edu/experts. For UCI breaking news, visit http://www.zotwire.uci.edu.


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#242090 - 08/03/08 09:21 AM Re: Trauma and memories [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6403
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
Ken,

I'm not sure what all this means. My T speaks frequently of the amygdala and other parts of the brain, and how they responded during the trama and now. Is this article indicating an advancement/change from conventional theory?

Sorry, I'm too removed from the science of it all to understand if there's an advancement here?



Edited by Robbie Brown (08/03/08 05:49 PM)
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#242176 - 08/03/08 09:27 PM Re: Trauma and memories [Re: Still]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
I'm not sure either. The science of brain stuff is pretty important from what I've seen. It probably is useful for many people to check in with the brain information to have a better idea of what might be going on with the grey matter.


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#242204 - 08/04/08 02:49 AM Re: Trauma and memories [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Regarding the brain and memory, I would be very sceptical that a drug can be selective in blocking memory.
It would probably just turn to amnesia, and block good memories as well as bad ones.

Try it on the war vets?

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#242281 - 08/04/08 01:47 PM Re: Trauma and memories [Re: reality2k4]
LN3(SS) Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD
Reality,

I have to take exception to your post. No one deserves the type of amnesia that these receptor inhibitors would seem to suggest. Good memories and bad alike make us who we are. It doesn't matter whether the memories come from combat, sexual trauma, or whatever.

As a veteran, I wouldn't want this tried on me.

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#242324 - 08/04/08 05:07 PM Re: Trauma and memories [Re: LN3(SS)]
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
You have misread my post which that brain inhibitors are just away of blocking good and bad memories.
I have amnesia, and would rather face it in reality than to have my brain thinking something is missing.

I am truly sorry for picking on any group of survivors, but feel that drugs can do more harm than good in the long run, and we need to feel that we can observe our pasts, and thank ourselves for how we survived.

Blocking receptors in the brain can lead to not being able to respond to normal responsive reactions.
That can equal more confusion and anxiety.

You cannot just throttle some bad past events without causing confusion in an abused boys mind, it will just lead to loss of
coherence of who he is, and what he fights for.

It's like saying goodbye to an old friend who made you survive, and saying a real goodbye to your childhood, and the little guy who got you through.

Not for me,

sate

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