Analysts have found out how to trigger the manifestations of a post-frightening printing problem in mice. They suggest that this may help uncover an approach to treating PTSD in individuals.

By coupling an electric stunt with an infusion of steroid hormones, specialists made mice look as if they had PTSD, their study says.

People with PTSD have unmistakable memories of a terrible event and a failure to bring that memory into the setting. They are tormented by terrible memories that come out of nowhere and are regularly triggered by harmless prompts.

“In very disturbing circumstances, as the patient’s entire attention is focused on a single, remarkable, injury-related signal”, various subtleties, which include the terrible mishap, are not handled properly by the cerebrum to remember, explained the lead scientist, Aline Desmedt. a neuroscientist at the University of Bordeaux in France.

In the study, Desmedt and her partners set out to see if they could detect PTSD-like memory disorders in mice – that is, the possibility that they might make the mice fear because of false risk predictions.

Stunning and stress

The scientists placed mice in a Plexiglas chamber and anaesthetised them after playing a sound, which made the mice associate the noise with the agonising experience. At this point they anaesthetised an alternative collection of mice without sound – a strategy known to be used by mice to link the anaesthetic to the chamber they are in (the “specific circumstance” of their injury).

After anaesthesia, the scientists infused the hippocampus of each rat with corticosterone, an area of the brain that is essential for memory and appears to be weakened in PTSD patients. Corticosterone is a hormone associated with pressure reactions.

The mice that did not hear the sound showed anxiety because of the excitement, but were not placed in the chamber – they apparently could not remember what prompt was associated with anaesthesia.

In another experiment, the scientists confined the mice in a chamber for 20 minutes instead of infusing mice with the hormone, which caused the creatures’ own pressure hormones to arrive. Once again, the mice could not remember their predictive sign.

Overall, the results recommend that PTSD-like memory impairment is due to unacceptable pressure hormone production, together with a presentation of extreme danger, said Desmedt.

Looking at the mice, the scientists found that movement in the hippocampus was found to be extremely low and action in the amygdala – a cerebral zone associated with handling and calling forth enthusiastic responses – changed when PTSD-like memories were structured to be exceptionally high.

What the discoveries mean for the individual

These discoveries could “pave the way to understanding the atomic basis [of PTSD] and thus improve productive treatments,” Desmedt said.

Not everyone is convinced that the mice in this study provide a decent model for PTSD in individuals. The findings of the study “are surprisingly applicable to understanding standardising pressure responses, but it is difficult to see how the findings identify with PTSD,” said Rachel Yehuda, a therapist and neuroscientist who represents a considerable authority on PTSD at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

For Yehuda, a major problem in the study is that there was no difference in the responses of the mice. “The truth is that we don’t all get PTSD from terrible accidents,” Yehuda told MyHealthNewsDaily.

She also said that PTSD side effects are available long after the terrible accident, which the scientists did not show in their mice. “Everyone seems to have PTSD shortly after something terrible has happened – that’s normal,” Yehuda said.

The study seems to be online today (24 February) in the Science diary.