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Cortisol suppression by dexamethasone reduces exaggerated fear responses in posttraumatic stress disorder

Jovanovic, Tanja ; Phifer, Justine E ; Sicking, Katie ; Weiss, Tamara ; Norrholm, Seth D ; Bradley, Bekh ; Ressler, Kerry J

Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2011, Vol.36(10), pp.1540-1552 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Cortisol suppression by dexamethasone reduces exaggerated fear responses in posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Author/Creator: Jovanovic, Tanja ; Phifer, Justine E ; Sicking, Katie ; Weiss, Tamara ; Norrholm, Seth D ; Bradley, Bekh ; Ressler, Kerry J
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: PTSD ; Trauma ; Hpa ; Cortisol ; Dexamethasone ; Fear Conditioning ; Fear-Potentiated Startle ; PTSD ; Trauma ; Hpa ; Cortisol ; Dexamethasone ; Fear Conditioning ; Fear-Potentiated Startle ; Medicine ; Anatomy & Physiology
  • Is Part Of: Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2011, Vol.36(10), pp.1540-1552
  • Description: PTSD symptoms are associated with heightened fear responses in laboratory fear conditioning paradigms. This study examined the effects of dexamethasone administration on hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) function and fear-potentiated startle (FPS) in trauma-exposed individuals with and without PTSD. We used an established fear discrimination procedure, in which one visual stimulus (CS+, danger cue) was paired with aversive airblasts to the throat (unconditioned stimulus, US), and another stimulus (CS−, safety cue) was presented without airblasts. In addition to FPS, the dexamethasone suppression test (DST) was performed. The study sample ( N = 100) was recruited from a highly traumatized civilian population in Atlanta, GA. Half of the subjects ( n = 54, 16 PTSD, 38 controls) underwent conditioning at baseline and the other half ( n = 46, 17 PTSD, 29 controls) after DST, in a cross-sectional design. We found a significant interaction effect of diagnostic...
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0306-4530 ; E-ISSN: 1873-3360 ; DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.04.008