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Greater sleep disturbance and longer sleep onset latency facilitate SCR-specific fear reinstatement in PTSD

Zuj, DV ORCID: 0000-0002-6376-8354, Palmer, MA ORCID: 0000-0002-3467-3364, Malhi, GS, Bryant, RA and Felmingham, KL 2018 , 'Greater sleep disturbance and longer sleep onset latency facilitate SCR-specific fear reinstatement in PTSD' , Behaviour Research and Therapy, vol. 110 , pp. 1-10 , doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2018.08.005.

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Fear reinstatement is one of several paradigms designed to measure fear return following extinction, as a laboratory model for the relapse of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Sleep is a key factor in emotional memory consolidation, and here we examined the relationship between sleep quality and fear reinstatement in PTSD, relative to trauma-exposed and non-exposed controls. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used as a subjective measure of sleep quality, and skin conductance responses (SCR) and unconditioned stimulus (US)-expectancy ratings were used to index threat responses during a differential fear conditioning, extinction, and reinstatement paradigm. There were no significant between-group differences in the reinstatement of conditioned responding. Sleep disturbance and sleep onset latency were significant moderators between reinstatement of fear and PTSD symptom severity, such that there was a positive relationship between PTSD symptoms and fear reinstatement for higher levels - but not lower levels - of sleep disturbance and sleep onset latency. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate PTSD-specific reinstatement patterns and sleep as a boundary condition of reinstatement. Future research using polysomnographic measures of sleep-wave architecture may further clarify the relationship between fear reinstatement and sleep quality in clinical samples with PTSD relative to controls.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Zuj, DV and Palmer, MA and Malhi, GS and Bryant, RA and Felmingham, KL
Journal or Publication Title: Behaviour Research and Therapy
Publisher: Elsevier Science
ISSN: 0005-7967
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.brat.2018.08.005
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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