Saturday, August 2, 2008

Traumatic Response To Bad Memories Can Be Minimized

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

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