Manufacturing PTSD evidence with machine learning

What would you do if you were a scientist who had strong beliefs that weren’t borne out by experimental evidence? Would you be honest with yourself about the roots of the beliefs? Would you attempt to discover why the beliefs were necessary for you, and what feelings were associated with the beliefs? Instead of the … Continue reading Manufacturing PTSD evidence with machine learning

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 … Continue reading Perpetuating the meme that rodent PTSD experiments necessarily apply to humans

Translating PTSD research findings from animals to humans

This 2014 rodent study stressed the animals, measured their stress responses, then killed them and sampled genes in their amygdala, hippocampus, and blood. The researchers found that glucocorticoid receptor signaling genes were the primary pathway associated with “exposure-related individual differences“ in stress responses for the amygdala and blood. This pathway also placed first for the … Continue reading Translating PTSD research findings from animals to humans

The role of recall neurons in traumatic memories

This 2018 Swiss rodent study found: “Our data show that: A subset of memory recall–induced neurons in the DG [dentate gyrus] becomes reactivated after memory attenuation, The degree of fear reduction positively correlates with this reactivation, and The continued activity of memory recall–induced neurons is critical for remote fear memory attenuation. Although other brain areas … Continue reading The role of recall neurons in traumatic memories

Group statistics don’t necessarily describe an individual

I’m curating this 2018 UC Berkeley/Drexel/Netherlands analysis of human studies via its press coverage. The authors: “Collaborated to analyze data on hundreds of adults – some mentally or physically sound, others suffering from various conditions such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Participants had completed surveys about their mental health and had their heart … Continue reading Group statistics don’t necessarily describe an individual

A disturbance in the paradigm of child abuse

The principal way science advances is through the principle Einstein expressed as: “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” Members of the scientific community and of the public should be satisfied that the scientific process is working well when hypotheses are discarded due to nonconfirming evidence. … Continue reading A disturbance in the paradigm of child abuse

Resiliency in stress responses

This 2018 US Veterans Administration review subject was resiliency and stress responses: “Neurobiological and behavioral responses to stress are highly variable. Exposure to a similar stressor can lead to heterogeneous outcomes — manifesting psychopathology in one individual, but having minimal effect, or even enhancing resilience, in another. We highlight aspects of stress response modulation related … Continue reading Resiliency in stress responses

Sex-specific impacts of childhood trauma

This 2018 Canadian paper reviewed evidence for potential sex-specific differences in the lasting impacts of childhood trauma: “This paper will provide a contextualized summary of neuroendocrine, neuroimaging, and behavioral epigenetic studies on biological sex differences contributing to internalizing psychopathology, specifically posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, among adults with a history of childhood abuse. Given the … Continue reading Sex-specific impacts of childhood trauma

The pain societies instill into children

The human subjects of this 2017 Swiss study had previously been intentionally traumatized by Swiss society: “Swiss former indentured child laborers (Verdingkinder) were removed as children from their families by the authorities due to different reasons (poverty, being born out of wedlock) and were placed to live and work on farms. This was a practice … Continue reading The pain societies instill into children

Epigenetic effects of early life stress exposure

This 2017 Netherlands review subject was the lasting epigenetic effects of early-life stress: “Exposure to stress during critical periods in development can have severe long-term consequences. One of the key stress response systems mediating these long-term effects of stress is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Early life stress (ELS) exposure has been reported to have numerous … Continue reading Epigenetic effects of early life stress exposure