According to a study in the Journal of Neuroscience, three researchers explore REM sleep among people experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The authors of the study explained how they used biophysically based models of the sleeping brain to examine its process during PTSD, particularly with processing and extinguishing fear memories.
“We used a biophysically based model that included the infralimbic cortex (IL), a part of the mPFC with a critical role in suppressing fear memories,” the report reads.
“Under post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) REM sleep conditions, rhythmic activity dissipated, and 4 Hz theta inputs to IL were ineffective, but higher-frequency (10 Hz) theta inputs to IL induced changes similar to those seen with 4 Hz inputs under normal REM sleep conditions, resulting in the suppression of fear expression cells.”
“These results suggest why PTSD patients may repeatedly experience the same emotionally charged dreams and suggest potential neuromodulatory therapies for the amelioration of PTSD symptoms,” the authors concluded.