Poster Session C, Sunday, March 24, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Cognitive functioning in post-traumatic stress disorder: a meta-analysis of evidence from animal models & clinical studies
Milou Sep1,2, Elbert Geuze1,2, Marian Joëls2,3; 1Military Mental Healthcare, Dutch Ministry of Defence, 2University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, 3University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands
After a traumatic experience, some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To improve the prevention and treatment of PTSD in the future, (fundamental) research efforts need to align with clinical reality so that translational findings can foster clinical progress. In the case of PTSD, this implies attention for research in the cognitive domain (including learning & memory), which plays a crucial role in current clinical diagnosis and treatment. In a meta-analysis, we compared current knowledge on learning, memory and fear conditioning (FC) in PTSD patients to healthy controls. Subsequently, data from animal models of PTSD was compared to patient-data, to investigate how preclinical data relates to clinical data. Data searches were performed in Pubmed and the PRISMA guidelines were followed throughout the project. 184 articles were included in this study (60.9% preclinical; 53.8% FC). PTSD patients show enhanced learning and memory of emotional or fearful information but perform worse than healthy controls in learning and memory of neutral information. Preclinical data showed comparable results, with even stronger associations between PTSD and parameters of learning and memory. FC was predominantly assessed in preclinical studies, whereas clinical studies focussed mainly on learning and memory of emotional or neutral information. These discrepancies could inspire future (pre)clinical studies to adopt a more translational, thereby more valuable, set-up. Overall, the results underline the importance of the learning and memory performance in PTSD and suggest that animal models can be used to model the cognitive domain of PTSD.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions