Suffering from chronic fear is no laughing matter. People with PTSD experience waking flashbacks in which they relive the violent or terrifying moments in their past. They often have a heightened fight-or-flight response, making them more than usually jumpy when exposed to loud noises or fast movements. It's not just soldiers who get the disorder. Almost anyone who has been put into an extended fearful situation can acquire the problem.
Researchers from MIT in the USA have discovered the molecular triggers that determine how fearful memories form, and have found ways to inhibit that fear. For a returned serviceman who can't go near trees at a local park for fear of snipers, chemically blocking an enzyme called Cdk5 could help him come to terms with that fear and understand internally that the fear is unfounded. Apparently the treatment could work on phobias, such as fear of spiders or enclosed spaces, potentially assisting many millions more people.
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They relive the violent or terrifying moments in their past. They often have a heightened fight-or-flight response
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