Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How are fear-related behaviors, anxiety disorders controlled?

Date:
November 21, 2013
Source:
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale)
Summary:
A team of researchers has just shown that interneurons located in the forebrain at the level of the prefrontal cortex are heavily involved in the control of fear responses.

Some traumatic events may lead to the development of severe medical conditions such as anxiety disorders or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Despite successful treatments, some patients relapse, and the original symptoms reappear over time (fear of crowds, recurring nightmares, etc.). An understanding of the neuronal structures and mechanisms involved in this spontaneous recovery of traumatic responses is essential.

All observations made by researchers indicate that fear behaviors are controlled in the forebrain at the level of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. This control of fear behavior is based on the activation of neurons in the prefrontal cortex that are in contact with specific areas of the amygdala.

Using an innovative approach combining electrophysiological recording techniques, optogenetic manipulations and behavioral approaches, the researchers were able to demonstrate that fear expression is related to the inhibition of highly specific interneurons -- the parvalbumin-expressing prefrontal interneurons.

More specifically, inhibition of their activity disinhibits the activity of the prefrontal projection neurons, and synchronises their action.

Synchronization of the activity of different neuronal networks in the brain is a fundamental process in the transmission of detailed information and the triggering of appropriate behavioral responses. Although this Synchronization had been demonstrated as crucial to sensory, motor and cognitive processes, it had not yet been examined in relation to the circuits involved in controlling emotional behavior.

The identification and better understanding of these neuronal circuits controlling fear behavior should allow the development of new treatment strategies for conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorders. "We could, for example, imagine the development of individual markers for these specific neurons, or the use of transmagnetic stimulation approaches to act directly on excitatory or inhibitory cells and reverse the phenomena."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Julien Courtin, Fabrice Chaudun, Robert R. Rozeske, Nikolaos Karalis, Cecilia Gonzalez-Campo, Hélène Wurtz, Azzedine Abdi, Jerome Baufreton, Thomas C. M. Bienvenu, Cyril Herry. Prefrontal parvalbumin interneurons shape neuronal activity to drive fear expression. Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nature12755

Cite This Page:

INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). "How are fear-related behaviors, anxiety disorders controlled?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121130035.htm>.
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). (2013, November 21). How are fear-related behaviors, anxiety disorders controlled?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121130035.htm
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). "How are fear-related behaviors, anxiety disorders controlled?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121130035.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins