Neuroscience

The brain may actively forget during dream sleep

Rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep is a fascinating period when most of our dreams are made. Now, in a study of mice, a team of Japanese and U.S. researchers show that it may also be a time when the brain actively forgets. ...

Neuroscience

How social isolation transforms the brain

Chronic social isolation has debilitating effects on mental health in mammals—for example, it is often associated with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in humans. Now, a team of Caltech researchers has discovered ...

Medical research

Blocking stress protein relieves chronic pain in mice

A group of drugs being developed to treat mood disorders could also relieve chronic pain, finds new UCL (University College London) research funded by the Medical Research Council.

Neuroscience

Brain recalls old memories via new pathways

People with anxiety disorders, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), often experience prolonged and exaggerated fearfulness. Now, an animal study suggests that this might involve disruption of a gradual shifting ...

Neuroscience

Researchers discover link between fear, sound perception

Anyone who's ever heard a Beethoven sonata or a Beatles song knows how powerfully sound can affect our emotions. But it can work the other way as well – our emotions can actually affect how we hear and process sound. When ...

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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one's own or someone else's physical, sexual, or psychological integrity, overwhelming the individual's ability to cope. As an effect of psychological trauma, PTSD is less frequent and more enduring than the more commonly seen acute stress response. Diagnostic symptoms for PTSD include re-experiencing the original trauma(s) through flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, and increased arousal—such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger, and hypervigilance. Formal diagnostic criteria (both DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10) require that the symptoms last more than one month and cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

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