By Alton Parrish
Post-traumatic stress syndrome – when a severely stressful event triggers exaggerated and chronic fear – affects nearly 8 million people in the United States and is hard to treat.
In a preclinical study, Northwestern Medicine scientists have for the first time identified the molecular cause of the debilitating condition and prevented it from occurring by injecting calming drugs into the brain within five hours of a traumatic event.
Northwestern researchers discovered the brain becomes overly stimulated after a traumatic event causes an ongoing, frenzied interaction between two brain proteins long after they should have disengaged.
“It’s like they keep dancing even after the music stops,” explained principal investigator Jelena Radulovic, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and Dunbar Scholar at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. When newly developed research drugs MPEP and MTEP were injected into the hippocampus, the calming drugs ended “the dance.”
“We were able ... Read more>>