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Glucocorticoids Can Induce PTSD-Like Memory Impairments in Mice

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Science  23 Feb 2012:
1207615
DOI: 10.1126/science.1207615

Abstract

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by a hypermnesia of the trauma and by a memory impairment that decreases the ability to restrict fear to the appropriate context. Infusion of glucocorticoids in the hippocampus after fear conditioning induces PTSD-like memory impairments and an altered pattern of neural activation in the hippocampal-amygdalar circuit. Mice become unable to identify the context as the right predictor of the threat and show fear responses for a discrete cue non-predicting the threat in normal conditions. These data demonstrate PTSD-like memory impairments in rodents and identify a potential pathophysiological mechanism of this condition.