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Glucocorticoids do not reduce subjective fear in healthy subjects exposed to social stress

Soravia, Leila M. and de Quervain, Dominique J.-F. and Heinrichs, Markus. (2009) Glucocorticoids do not reduce subjective fear in healthy subjects exposed to social stress. Biological Psychology, 81 (3). pp. 184-188.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/46512/

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Abstract

Previous experiments in patients with phobia have shown that the administration of glucocorticoids reduces fear in phobic situations. Extensive evidence indicates that elevated glucocorticoid levels inhibit memory retrieval processes. In patients with phobia, exposure to a phobic stimulus (socio-evaluative stress test) provokes retrieval of stimulus-associated fear memory that leads to a fear response. It is therefore possible that glucocorticoids reduce phobic fear by inhibiting retrieval of the previously acquired fear memory. Whether glucocorticoids reduce subjective fear also in healthy subjects exposed to a socially fearful situation is not known.; In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 50 healthy subjects underwent the same socio-evaluative stress test as used in a previous study in patients with social phobia. One hour before the stress test, subjects received 25mg cortisone or placebo orally. Psychological anxiety measures were repeatedly assessed.; Although the stress situation robustly increased fear in this population of healthy subjects, cortisone treatment did not reduce subjective fear, physical discomfort or avoidance behavior when compared to placebo-treated subjects.; The present study did not find evidence indicating that glucocorticoids reduce subjective fear in healthy subjects exposed to a socially fearful situation.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Psychiatrie (Klinik) > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie UPK > Kognitive Neurowissenschaften (de Quervain)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Psychiatrie (Klinik) > Erwachsenenpsychiatrie UPK > Kognitive Neurowissenschaften (de Quervain)
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Klinische Psychologie und Neurowissenschaften > Cognitive Neuroscience (de Quervain)
UniBasel Contributors:de Quervain, Dominique J.-F.
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0301-0511
e-ISSN:1873-6246
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:20 Jun 2018 15:32
Deposited On:29 Nov 2017 07:49

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