Stress, memory and amygdala

Department of Neuroscience, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
Nature Reviews Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 31.43). 07/2009; 10(6):423-33. DOI: 10.1038/nrn2651
Source: PubMed


Emotionally significant experiences tend to be well remembered, and the amygdala has a pivotal role in this process. But the efficient encoding of emotional memories can become maladaptive - severe stress often turns them into a source of chronic anxiety. Here, we review studies that have identified neural correlates of stress-induced modulation of amygdala structure and function - from cellular mechanisms to their behavioural consequences. The unique features of stress-induced plasticity in the amygdala, in association with changes in other brain regions, could have long-term consequences for cognitive performance and pathological anxiety exhibited in people with affective disorders.

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Available from: Benno Roozendaal
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    • "In this regard, animal studies of inhibitory avoidance, and Pavlovian fear conditioning 99 studies in both animals and humans have provided insight into the neurobiological underpinnings 100 of aversive learning and memory that contribute to the development and expression of PTSD 101 (Bowers & Ressler, 2015;Fanselow & Poulos, 2005;LeDoux, 2000;Maren, 2001;Maren, Phan, 102 & Liberzon, 2013;Myers & Davis, 2007;Roozendaal, McEwen, & Chattarji, 2009). Here we "
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    ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been described as the only neuropsychiatric disorder with a known cause, yet effective behavioral and pharmacotherapies remain elusive for many afflicted individuals. PTSD is characterized by heightened noradrenergic signaling, as well as a resistance to extinction learning. Research aimed at promoting more effective treatment of PTSD has focused on memory erasure (disrupting reconsolidation) and/or enhancing extinction retention through pharmacological manipulations. Propranolol, a β-adrenoceptor antagonist, has received considerable attention for its therapeutic potential in PTSD, although its impact on patients is not always effective. In this review, we briefly examine the consequences of β-noradrenergic manipulations on both reconsolidation and extinction learning in rodents and in humans. We suggest that propranolol is effective as a fear-reducing agent when paired with behavioral therapy soon after trauma when psychological stress is high, possibly preventing or dampening the later development of PTSD. In individuals who have already suffered from PTSD for a significant period of time, propranolol may be less effective at disrupting reconsolidation of strong fear memories. Also, when PTSD has already developed, chronic treatment with propranolol may be more effective than acute intervention, given that individuals with PTSD tend to experience long-term, elevated noradrenergic hyperarousal.
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    • "Levels of glucocorticoids (GCs; steroid hormones released by the adrenal cortex) at baseline serve critical metabolic functions, but increase following activation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis in response to real or perceived stressors, both acute and chronic (Charmandari et al., 2005). Chronic exposure to GCs can deleteriously affect health and cognitive function in humans and animals (Cohen et al., 2007; McEwen and Sapolsky, 1995; McEwen and Wingfield, 2003; Roozendaal et al., 2009; Sheriff et al., 2009). Acute activation of the HPA axis facilitates physiological and behavioral changes that redirect energy away from processes not essential for immediate survival, such as reproduction, and toward processes and behaviors that may enhance survival, such as glucose mobilization, antipredator behaviors, and memory consolidation (reviewed by Sapolsky et al., 2000; Wingfield and Ramenofsky, 1999). "

    No preview · Dataset · Dec 2015
    • "Enhanced memory formation of emotionally arousing and stressful situations favors long-term behavioral adaptation to such conditions (De Kloet et al. 1999). Consolidation of emotionally arousing information is facilitated by corticosteroid hormones, which are released during and after exposure to stressful situations (Oitzl et al. 2001; Roozendaal et al. 2009). An important question is exactly how these hormones facilitate memory consolidation. "

    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.)
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