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Trauma-specific Grey Matter Alterations in PTSD

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A quantitative voxel-wise meta-analysis of GM changes in PTSD by different traumas using AES-SDM, and found that GMR regions were generally located in the prefrontal-limbic-striatal system. Notably, subgroup analyses revealed that the GMR patterns were associated with specific trauma categories. This study provides further evidences of different neural correlates underlying PTSD by different traumas, and suggests that stratified diagnosis and treatment of PTSD are necessary in clinics.

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Stress, glucocorticoids and memory: implications for treating fear-related disorders

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Glucocorticoid stress hormones are crucially involved in modulating mnemonic processing of emotionally arousing experiences. They enhance the consolidation of new memories, including those that extinguish older memories, but impair the retrieval of information stored in long-term memory. As strong aversive memories lie at the core of several fear-related disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias, the memory-modulating properties of glucocorticoids have recently become of considerable translational interest. Clinical trials have provided the first evidence that glucocorticoid-based pharmacotherapies aimed at attenuating aversive memories might be helpful in the treatment of fear-related disorders. Here, we review important advances in the understanding of how glucocorticoids mediate stress effects on memory processes, and discuss the translational potential of these new conceptual insights.

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Lizards may be overwhelmed by fire ants and social stress combined

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Lizards living in fire-ant-invaded areas are stressed. However, a team of biologists found that the lizards did not exhibit this stress as expected after extended fire ant exposure in socially stressful environments, leading to questions about stress overload.

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Cannabis does relieve stress, but only at low doses

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Laws on marijuana use for medicinal purposes have changed dramatically over recent years. However, because the drug is a highly regulated category 1 substance, it is difficult to obtain permits to study it. But, at the same time, medicinal cannabis use is rising, making research more vital than ever. As predicted, those who received the low dose of THC reported less stress after the psychosocial test than those given a placebo. Also, their stress levels dropped faster after the test. However, those receiving the higher dose of THC reported a more negative mood before and during the task. Beforehand, they were more likely to rate the psychosocial task as “challenging” or “threatening.”

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Effects of Traumatic Stress after Mass Violence, Terror, or Disaster

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It is important to help survivors recognize the normalcy of most stress reactions to disaster. Mild to moderate stress reactions in the emergency and early post-impact phases of disaster are highly prevalent because survivors (and their families, community members and rescue workers) accurately recognize the grave danger in disaster (Young et al., 1998). Although stress reactions may seem ‘extreme’, and cause distress, they generally do not become chronic problems. Most people recover fully from even moderate stress reactions within 6 to 16 months.

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Depression after Abortion: Understanding and Coping

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There is some controversy about depression after abortion, and not just in the medical profession. It is not clear that abortion depression is a specific condition, although it is clear that women do have emotional responses to abortion.

The range of typical feelings experienced with abortion might include:

  • Grief, a sense of loss
  • Guilt
  • Remorse or regret
  • Stress, reduced ability to cope
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Relief, reduced anxiety

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Autism researchers discover genetic ‘Rosetta Stone’

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Opposing defects in a single neuronal protein lead either to epilepsy in infancy or to autism. Distinct sets of genetic defects in a single neuronal protein can lead either to infantile epilepsy or to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), depending on whether the respective mutations boost the protein’s function or sabotage it, according to a new study.

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