A common drug administered in the first hours following trauma to patients deemed to be at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reduced the occurrence of PTSD, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Lille, France.
While the study involved a small number of subjects, its results are encouraging, says its senior author, Charles Marmar, MD, associate chief of staff for mental health at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and professor and vice chair of psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco.
"The study is based on the new theory that PTSD is most likely to occur in patients who experience a particularly severe and prolonged response to trauma. If this model proves accurate after five or ten replications of studies like this one, it could have very profound ramifications. From a public health perspective, if you could identify the subgroup of people who are susceptible to PTSD, giving them this course of medication -- which is brief, very well tolerated and inexpensive -- could be very effective prevention [following major trauma] and may have great social relevance." The study appears in the November 1 issue of Biological Psychiatry.
All people confronted by a life-threatening situation, such as a car accident or physical assault, react by releasing a rush of stress hormones, including adrenalin and noradrenalin, which are produced in the adrenal glands, located atop the kidneys. This response, known as "adrenergic activation," initiates the reactions that quicken the heart rate, constrict the vasculature to prevent bleeding to death, and provide energy to the muscles, priming the body to "fight, flee, or freeze." The hormonal flood also strengthens the brains ability to form and retain emotional memories. The longer the duration of the adrenergic activation, the more vivid and tenacious are the memories of the event. In most people, after minutes to hours the reaction begins to subside.
Liese Greensfelder | EurekAlert!
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
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