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Cortisol reduces recall of explicit contextual pain memory in healthy young men


Schwegler, K; Ettlin, D; Buser, I; Klaghofer, R; Goetzmann, L; Buddeberg, C; Alon, E; Brügger, M; de Quervain, D J F (2010). Cortisol reduces recall of explicit contextual pain memory in healthy young men. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 35(8):1270-1273.

Abstract

Remembering painful incidents has important adaptive value but may also contribute to clinical symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and chronic pain states. Because glucocorticoids are known to impair memory retrieval processes, we investigated whether cortisol affects recall of previously experienced pain in healthy young men. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, 20 male participants were presented pictures, half of them combined with a heat-pain stimulus. The next day, the same pictures were shown in the absence of pain. Cortisol (20 mg) administered 1h before retention testing reduced recall of explicit contextual pain memory, whereas it did not affect pain threshold or pain tolerance.

Remembering painful incidents has important adaptive value but may also contribute to clinical symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and chronic pain states. Because glucocorticoids are known to impair memory retrieval processes, we investigated whether cortisol affects recall of previously experienced pain in healthy young men. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, 20 male participants were presented pictures, half of them combined with a heat-pain stimulus. The next day, the same pictures were shown in the absence of pain. Cortisol (20 mg) administered 1h before retention testing reduced recall of explicit contextual pain memory, whereas it did not affect pain threshold or pain tolerance.

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3 citations in Web of Science®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:17 Dec 2010 16:28
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:26
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0306-4530
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.02.011
PubMed ID:20211530
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-39497

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