Friday, February 24, 2012

Treating Fear, Anxiety, and PTSD

[S]omeone who's afraid of dogs can often be helped by treatment where they're given limited exposure to dogs, showing them that dogs really aren't so frightening after all. Psychologists call this fear extinction therapy...In the study, adult mice were trained to fear a tone by repeatedly giving them a foot shock right after the tone was produced. After two weeks of this, some of the mice were given fear extinction therapy -- repeated exposure to the tone without an accompanying foot shock, while others were not. And half of the mice had their drinking water replaced by a Prozac solution...The mice were then tested at various time periods to see how the behavioral therapy and the drug therapy, alone and in combination, affected their fear of the tone, by looking at whether or not the mice froze when they heard the tone. more

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