The Effect of Social Support in a Rodent Model of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder developed from experience of or exposure to a traumatic event. In a rodent model of this disorder, we test whether social support, through co-housing, may be able to alleviate the long term anxiety normally displayed by animals after trauma. There were four groups: a single housed rat (shock or sham), a co-housed group with one shock and two sham rats (e.g. family support) and another co-housed group with three shock rats (e.g. group therapy). The results from a series of anxiety tests showed that the co-housed single shock group displayed decreased anxiety in the open field test, while the co-housed group shock rats showed decreased anxiety in the elevated plus maze test. The single housed shock group showed increased avoidance to the shock side of the shock box by the third exposure to it when compared to the co-housed single shock group. Translated to humans, this suggests that family support and group therapy support may have differential effects that may be beneficial in certain environments. These results also indicate that having social support is generally more effective in reducing anxiety than lack of support.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science