70 Perhaps consistent with these stress-related effects, DCS interacts with stress hormones: DCS blocks the extinction-impairing effect of the corticosteroid synthesis inhibitor metyrapone and enhances the extinction-facilitating effects of the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone.71 Judo et al72 showed
that changes in prefrontal synaptic efficacy during extinction training did not occur in adult rats exposed to early postnatal stress, and these synaptic changes and resulting deficits in extinction were restored by DCS. These observations may also be consistent with findings in clinical studies described below, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical that DCS facilitates exposure therapy in clinical, but not subclinical, populations, and that different types of mechanisms could be involved in the two groups of subjects.73
Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical DCS facilitates psychotherapy Many forms of psychotherapy depend in part on extinction of fear. Patients with fear of snakes avoid snakes and do not allow themselves to extinguish this fear. However, repeated exposure to pictures of snakes, a snake in a jar, or even a live snake are extremely effective in eliminating such Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical simple phobias and are widely used. Panic patients afraid they will have a panic attack driving over a high bridge are taken back to the bridge to show them that they will not always have a panic attack there. Patients with a contamination phobia who are forced to touch the bottom of a toilet seat, but not allowed to wash their hands, learn not only they do not die but they don’t even get sick, identical to an extinction trial. Exposure to scenes of combat in people with post-traumatic
Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical stress disorder (PTSD) in the presence of a supportive therapist often leads to substantial improvement, and cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be helpful in many PTSD patients. In all these cases of selleck chemicals llc exposure-based psychotherapy extinction is the Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical fundamental mechanism that is operating. The finding that DCS can facilitate fear extinction in animals52 and that fear extinction was so central to many types of psychotherapy suggested either that DCS might also be effective in facilitating exposure therapy for fear and anxiety disorders in people. DCS had been FDA-approved for some time as an antibiotic treatment for tuberculosis at high doses. Although this effect had nothing to do with its ability to facilitate extinction it allowed us to test whether it would facilitate exposure-based psychotherapy right away.74 In this study, the ability of DCS to enhance exposure therapy for acrophobia, or fear of heights, using virtual reality exposure therapy, was examined. Previous work had shown improvements on acrophobia outcome measures after seven or eight weekly virtual reality therapy sessions.