- Pharmacotherapy in the aftermath of trauma; opportunities in the 'golden hours'
- Current psychiatry reports
- Volume | Issue number
- 16 | 7
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)
Several lines of research have demonstrated that memories for fearful events become transiently labile upon re-exposure. Activation of molecular mechanisms is required in order to maintain retrieved information. This process is called reconsolidation. Targeting reconsolidation - as in exposure-based psychotherapy - offers therefore a potentially interesting tool to manipulate fear memories, and subsequently to treat disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this paper we discuss the evidence for reconsolidation in rodents and humans and highlight recent studies in which clinical research on normal and abnormal fear extinction reduction of the expression of fear was obtained by targeting the process of reconsolidation. We conclude that reconsolidation presents an interesting opportunity to modify or alter fear and fear-related memories. More clinical research on normal and abnormal fear extinction is required.
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