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The centrality of fear extinction in linking risk factors to PTSD: A narrative review


Zuj, DV and Palmer, MA and Lommen, MJ and Felmingham, KL, The centrality of fear extinction in linking risk factors to PTSD: A narrative review, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 69 pp. 15-35. ISSN 0149-7634 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.07.014


Recent prospective studies in emergency services have identified impaired fear extinction learning and memory to be a significant predictor of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), complementing a wealth of cross-sectional evidence of extinction deficits associated with the disorder. Additional fields of research show specific risk factors and biomarkers of the disorder, including candidate genotypes, stress and sex hormones, cognitive factors, and sleep disturbances. Studies in mostly nonclinical populations also reveal that the aforementioned factors are involved in fear extinction learning and memory. Here, we provide a comprehensive narrative review of the literature linking PTSD to these risk factors, and linking these risk factors to impaired fear extinction. On balance, the evidence suggests that fear extinction may play a role in the relationship between risk factors and PTSD. Should this notion hold true, this review carries important implications for the improvement of exposure-based treatments, as well as strategies for the implementation of treatment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:posttraumatic stress disorder, fear extinction, biomarkers, cognition, trauma, genetics, cortisol, noradrenaline, sleep
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Zuj, DV (Dr Daniel Zuj)
UTAS Author:Palmer, MA (Associate Professor Matt Palmer)
UTAS Author:Felmingham, KL (Professor Kim Felmingham)
ID Code:110876
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:73
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2016-08-19
Last Modified:2018-03-22

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