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Dopamine, endocannabinoids and their interaction in fear extinction and negative affect in PTSD

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 18:09 authored by Ney, LJ, Akhurst, J, Raimondo BrunoRaimondo Bruno, Laing, PAF, Allison MatthewsAllison Matthews, Kim FelminghamKim Felmingham
There currently exist few frameworks for common neurobiology between reexperiencing and negative cognitions and mood symptoms of PTSD. Adopting a dopaminergic framework for PTSD unites many aspects of unique symptom clusters, and this approach also links PTSD symptomology to common comorbidities with a common neurobiological deficiency. Here we review the dopamine literature and incorporate it with a growing field of research that describes both the contribution of endocannabinoids to fear extinction and PTSD, as well as the interactions between dopaminergic and endocannabinoid systems underlying this disorder. Based on current evidence, we outline an early, preliminary model that links re-experiencing and negative cognitions and mood in PTSD by invoking the interaction between endocannabinoid and dopaminergic signalling in the brain. These interactions between PTSD, dopamine and endocannabinoids may have implications for future therapies for treatment-resistant and comorbid PTSD patients.


Publication title

Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry








School of Psychological Sciences


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 Elsevier Inc.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Mental health

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