Updated on 10 September 2012
Two successive manipulations, both of which elevate corticosterone levels by themselves, together reset the number of synapses in the amygdala and restored anxiety behavior to normal levels in rats. Strikingly, these high and low numbers of synapses in the amygdala appear to be reliable predictors of high and low anxiety states respectively.
Dr John Krystal, editor, Biological Psychiatry, said that, "It seems, increasingly, that the ‘trauma' in post-traumatic stress disorder is the impact of stress on brain structure and function. The study by Rao and colleagues provides evidence that glucocorticoids may have protective effects in their animal model that prevent from these changes in synaptic connectivity, potentially shedding light on protective effects of glucocorticoids described in relation to PTSD."