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Fear potentiation is associated with hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis function in PTSD

Jovanovic, Tanja ; Norrholm, Seth D ; Blanding, Nineequa Q ; Phifer, Justine E ; Weiss, Tamara ; Davis, Michael ; Duncan, Erica ; Bradley, Bekh ; Ressler, Kerry

Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2010, Vol.35(6), pp.846-857 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Fear potentiation is associated with hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis function in PTSD
  • Author/Creator: Jovanovic, Tanja ; Norrholm, Seth D ; Blanding, Nineequa Q ; Phifer, Justine E ; Weiss, Tamara ; Davis, Michael ; Duncan, Erica ; Bradley, Bekh ; Ressler, Kerry
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: PTSD ; Trauma ; Physiology ; Startle Response ; Hpa ; Cortisol ; PTSD ; Trauma ; Physiology ; Startle Response ; Hpa ; Cortisol ; Medicine ; Anatomy & Physiology
  • Is Part Of: Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2010, Vol.35(6), pp.846-857
  • Description: A central problem in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the inability to suppress fear under safe conditions. We have previously shown that PTSD patients cannot inhibit conditioned fear. Another relevant finding in PTSD is the hypersensitivity of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis feedback. Given their common neurobiological pathways, alterations in HPA function in PTSD may be associated with impaired fear inhibition. The present study examined the relationship between HPA axis function and fear-potentiated startle and inhibition of conditioned fear in trauma-exposed individuals. We used a conditional discrimination procedure (AX+/BX−), in which one set of shapes (AX+) was paired with aversive airblasts to the throat (danger signal), and the same X shape with a different shape (BX−) were presented without airblasts (safety signal). The paradigm also included a transfer of fear inhibition test (AB). In addition to fear-potentiated startle, blood was drawn for neuroendocrine...
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0306-4530 ; E-ISSN: 1873-3360 ; DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2009.11.009