According to researchers at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, new evidence has emerged indicating that a blood pressure drug may serve as a treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
As published in Molecular Psychiatry, researchers turned to clonidine for possible treatment against PTSD and other similar trauma-based conditions.
The research was based primarily on experimentation with genetically modified rodents and neuronal activity from human stem cells. A novel axis on an adrenergic receptor known as ɑ2A—responsible for fear memories—was investigated as part of the new research. The researchers studied interactions between spinophilin and cofilin.
“Our studies, using both genetically modified mice and human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons, reveal a novel α2A adrenergic receptor (α2AAR)-spinophilin-cofilin axis in the hippocampus that is critical for regulation of contextual fear memory reconsolidation,” according to the study’s authors.
“In addition, we have found that two α2 ligands, clonidine and guanfacine, exhibit differential abilities in activating this signaling axis to disrupt fear memory reconsolidation.”
“Our results inform the interpretation of differential clinical observations of these two drugs on PTSD and suggest that clonidine could provide immediate treatment for PTSD symptoms related to the current pandemic.”