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New mechanism involved in fearful memories unraveled

Stress-related disorders like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are characterized by alterations in fear behavior.

In a recent study published in the high impact journal Molecular Psychiatry, Carlos Fitzsimons, Marijn Schouten, Melly Oitzl and Paul Lucassen from the Center for Neuroscience of the SILS, together with the Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, the University of Florida, the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, the Leiden Institute for Advanced Computer Sciences, the Rudolf Magnus Institute and the Department of Human Genetics of the Leiden University Medical Center, show that stress hormones alter the functional integration of individual newborn neurons in brain circuits involved in fear behavior.

These findings show that adult hippocampal neurogenesis, a process regulated by stress hormones, is implicated in the generation of fearful memories and related behavior..

View complete article in Molecular Psychiatry