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Reconsolidation impairment of reward memory by stimulating stress response.

Authors
  • Dinter, Christina1
  • Hermann, Derik2
  • Heckmann, Judith3
  • Hill, Holger4
  • Reinhard, Iris5
  • Vollstädt-Klein, Sabine2
  • Kirsch, Peter6
  • Kiefer, Falk2
  • 1 Psychiatric outpatient unit, Vitos Rheingau, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 2 Department of Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 3 Department of Geriatrics, Sankt Gertrauden Hospital, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 4 Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft (IfSS), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 5 Department of Biostatistics, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 6 Department of Clinical Psychology, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Germany. , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Addiction Biology
Publisher
Wiley (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
Volume
25
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/adb.12712
PMID: 30672054
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Research in memory reconsolidation has raised hope for new treatment options of persistent psychiatric disorders like substance dependence and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While animal research showed successful memory modification by interfering with reconsolidation, human research requires less invasive techniques. In our pilot study, we aimed to reduce appetitive memory reconsolidation of a newly acquired reward memory by exerting a stressor. Thirty healthy participants were randomly assigned to two groups performing a monetary reward paradigm at a personal computer. Day 1 was considered to allow for memory acquisition; on day 2, the experimental group was exposed to a frightening stimulus in the reconsolidation window; and day 3 again served to determine reward memory effects. Measures of reward memory were reaction times to reward announcing stimuli (ie, showing instrumental behavior), actual reward gained, and electrodermal response as a measure for reward anticipation. We found significantly smaller reaction time improvements to reward stimuli over time in the experimental group, as well as reduced achievements in monetary reward. Electrodermal response to reward announcing stimuli was lower in the experimental group after intervention, whereas it was higher in the untreated group. Thus, we argue in favor of the reconsolidation hypothesis, assuming our intervention had successfully interfered with the reconsolidation process. This points towards future treatment options that interfere with an addiction memory. © 2019 Society for the Study of Addiction.

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