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Endogenous salivary &#945-amylase does not interact with skin conductance response during fear extinction in posttraumatic stress disorder

Zuj, DV ORCID: 0000-0002-6376-8354, Palmer, MA ORCID: 0000-0002-3467-3364, Malhi, GS, Bryant, RA and Felmingham, KL 2018 , 'Endogenous salivary &#945-amylase does not interact with skin conductance response during fear extinction in posttraumatic stress disorder' , Psychiatry Research, vol. 262 , pp. 316-322 , doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.02.016.

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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is associated with elevated noradrenergic signaling, which has an impacton emotional learning and memory. Fear extinction is thought to underlie the processes of exposure therapy,however the relationship between noradrenaline and extinction in PTSD is unclear. Participants with PTSD(n= 21), trauma-exposure without PTSD (TC; n = 36), and non-trauma-exposed controls (NTC; n = 27) completed a fear conditioning and extinction paradigm, and conditioned fear was indexed by skin conductanceresponse (SCR). Salivary α-amylase (sAA) collected at baseline and immediately post-fear acquisition was usedas an index of noradrenaline, and we examined whether sAA in response to fear acquisition was a moderatorbetween fear extinction and PTSD symptoms. While there was a significant increase in sAA from baseline to postfear acquisition, this was not modulated by group. Compared to TC and NTC, the PTSD group displayed a slowerdecline in SCRs during early extinction, which generalized across stimulus type, and was not moderated by sAA.These findings suggest that the relationship between fear extinction and PTSD symptoms does not change as afunction of sAA levels; however previous research suggests other processes of fear learning may be associatedwith noradrenergic activity in PTSD.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Zuj, DV and Palmer, MA and Malhi, GS and Bryant, RA and Felmingham, KL
Keywords: PTSD; Trauma; Extinction; Salivary alpha-amylase; Sympathetic arousal
Journal or Publication Title: Psychiatry Research
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ireland Ltd
ISSN: 0165-1781
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.02.016
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Crown Copyright

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