Perpetuating the meme that rodent PTSD experiments necessarily apply to humans

This 2015 Texas A&M rodent study found:

“Propranolol administration dampened the stress-induced impairment in extinction observed when extinction training is delivered shortly after fear conditioning.”

The researchers were way off base in extrapolating this study to humans:

“Propranolol may be a helpful adjunct to behavioral therapy for PTSD, particularly in patients who have recently experienced trauma.”

Would National Institutes of Health Grant R01MH065961 money have been available without perpetuating the meme that rodent PTSD experiments necessarily apply to humans? Or are a priori findings necessary in order to get research funded?

In rodent studies such as this one, the origins of both the disease and the “cure” are all exerted externally. But humans aren’t lab rats. We can perform effective therapy that doesn’t involve some outside action being done to us.

Studies such as Fear extinction is the learned inhibition of retrieval of previously acquired responses make clear that extinction is equivalent to suppression. “Behavioral therapy for PTSD” that suppresses symptoms can’t be a “cure” for humans since the original causes for the symptoms aren’t treated.

Even if this study’s recommendation to administer a drug applied to humans, neither drugs nor “behavioral therapy for PTSD” address the underlying causes. “Noradrenergic blockade stabilizes prefrontal activity and enables fear extinction under stress”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.