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RSS FeedsIJMS, Vol. 22, Pages 10000: Oxytocin and Fear Memory Extinction: Possible Implications for the Therapy of Fear Disorders? (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)

 
 

16 september 2021 11:09:59

 
IJMS, Vol. 22, Pages 10000: Oxytocin and Fear Memory Extinction: Possible Implications for the Therapy of Fear Disorders? (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
 


Several psychiatric conditions such as phobias, generalized anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are characterized by pathological fear and anxiety. The main therapeutic approach used in the management of these disorders is exposure-based therapy, which is conceptually based upon fear extinction with the formation of a new safe memory association, allowing the reduction in behavioral conditioned fear responses. Nevertheless, this approach is only partially resolutive, since many patients have difficulty following the demanding and long process, and relapses are frequently observed over time. One strategy to improve the efficacy of the cognitive therapy is the combination with pharmacological agents. Therefore, the identification of compounds able to strengthen the formation and persistence of the inhibitory associations is a key goal. Recently, growing interest has been aroused by the neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT), which has been shown to have anxiolytic effects. Furthermore, OXT receptors and binding sites have been found in the critical brain structures involved in fear extinction. In this review, the recent literature addressing the complex effects of OXT on fear extinction at preclinical and clinical levels is discussed. These studies suggest that the OXT roles in fear behavior are due to its local effects in several brain regions, most notably, distinct amygdaloid regions.


 
55 viewsCategory: Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology
 
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