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Dopamine, endocannabinoids and their interaction in fear extinction and negative affect in PTSD


Ney, LJ and Akhurst, J and Bruno, R and Laing, PAF and Matthews, A and Felmingham, KL, Dopamine, endocannabinoids and their interaction in fear extinction and negative affect in PTSD, Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 105 pp. 1-17. ISSN 0278-5846 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Elsevier Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110118


There currently exist few frameworks for common neurobiology between reexperiencing and negative cognitions and mood symptoms of PTSD. Adopting a dopaminergic framework for PTSD unites many aspects of unique symptom clusters, and this approach also links PTSD symptomology to common comorbidities with a common neurobiological deficiency. Here we review the dopamine literature and incorporate it with a growing field of research that describes both the contribution of endocannabinoids to fear extinction and PTSD, as well as the interactions between dopaminergic and endocannabinoid systems underlying this disorder. Based on current evidence, we outline an early, preliminary model that links re-experiencing and negative cognitions and mood in PTSD by invoking the interaction between endocannabinoid and dopaminergic signalling in the brain. These interactions between PTSD, dopamine and endocannabinoids may have implications for future therapies for treatment-resistant and comorbid PTSD patients.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:dopamine, posttraumatic stress disorder, endocannabinoids, PTSD, comorbidity
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Ney, LJ (Mr Luke Ney)
UTAS Author:Akhurst, J (Ms Jane Akhurst)
UTAS Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
UTAS Author:Matthews, A (Dr Allison Matthews)
UTAS Author:Felmingham, KL (Professor Kim Felmingham)
ID Code:141082
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2020-09-23
Last Modified:2020-12-18

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