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Early Life Stress and Sleep Restriction as Risk Factors in PTSD: An Integrative Pre-Clinical Approach

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Annual rept. 1 Apr 2011-31 Mar 2012

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The project proposes a novel integrative preclinical approach to study risk factors for and neurobiology of post-traumatic stress and depression. Why risk factors - Because PTSD is the only psychiatric disorder to which there is seemingly a clear etiological agent - a traumatic event that triggers it, most models of PTSD concentrate on what would constitute a trauma in the studied animals. However, because the majority of people exposed to traumatic experiences actually do not develop PTSD the exposure to the traumatic experience is necessary, but not a sufficient condition to induce the disorder. We focus on both distal Childhood adversities and proximal Sleep restriction potential risk factors, with high relevance to soldiers. The primary aims of the project are thus 1 To establish an effective animal model of PTSD that would consider the contribution of risk factors to the induction of the trauma. 2 To examine the role of sleep restriction as an immediate risk factor in PTSD. 3 To establish the role of childhood adversity as a long-term risk factor in PTSD, particularly in association with sleep restriction. 4 To develop the model as a platform for pharmacological testing of novel targets for drug development.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Stress Physiology

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