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Preventive effect of beta-adrenoceptor blockade on glucocorticoid-induced memory retrieval deficits


de Quervain, D J F; Aerni, A; Roozendaal, B (2007). Preventive effect of beta-adrenoceptor blockade on glucocorticoid-induced memory retrieval deficits. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164(6):967-969.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Elevated glucocorticoid levels impair retrieval of emotional information, and animal studies indicate that this effect depends on concurrent emotional arousal-induced increases in noradrenergic transmission within the brain. The authors investigated whether the beta-adrenoceptor antagonist propranolol blocks glucocorticoid-induced memory retrieval impairments in human subjects. METHOD: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 42 healthy volunteers were presented a set of words with variable emotionality and asked to learn them for recall. A day later, cortisone (25 mg), propranolol (40 mg), or both drugs were administered orally 1 hour before a free-recall test. RESULTS: Cortisone selectively impaired the recall of emotionally arousing words by 42%. This impairment was blocked by the concurrent administration of propranolol. Propranolol alone did not affect recall of either emotional or neutral words. CONCLUSIONS: A pharmacological blockade of beta-adrenoceptors prevents glucocorticoid-induced memory retrieval deficits in human subjects. This finding may have important implications for the treatment of memory deficits in hypercortisolemic states, such as stress and depression.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Elevated glucocorticoid levels impair retrieval of emotional information, and animal studies indicate that this effect depends on concurrent emotional arousal-induced increases in noradrenergic transmission within the brain. The authors investigated whether the beta-adrenoceptor antagonist propranolol blocks glucocorticoid-induced memory retrieval impairments in human subjects. METHOD: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 42 healthy volunteers were presented a set of words with variable emotionality and asked to learn them for recall. A day later, cortisone (25 mg), propranolol (40 mg), or both drugs were administered orally 1 hour before a free-recall test. RESULTS: Cortisone selectively impaired the recall of emotionally arousing words by 42%. This impairment was blocked by the concurrent administration of propranolol. Propranolol alone did not affect recall of either emotional or neutral words. CONCLUSIONS: A pharmacological blockade of beta-adrenoceptors prevents glucocorticoid-induced memory retrieval deficits in human subjects. This finding may have important implications for the treatment of memory deficits in hypercortisolemic states, such as stress and depression.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IREM)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:Chinese
Date:June 2007
Deposited On:18 Mar 2009 11:02
Last Modified:04 Sep 2016 07:06
Publisher:American Psychiatric Publishing
ISSN:0002-953X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.164.6.967
PubMed ID:17541058

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