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Stress-restress evokes a complex neurobiological response in the hippocampus involving neuro-excitatory and neurotoxic pathways, as well as neuroinhibitory and neuroprotective responses to chronic stress.One of these changes involves a long-lasting increase in hippocampal iNOS activity that is accompanied by a reactive downregulation of hippocampal NMDA receptors and dysregulation of inhibitory GABA pathways.
These perturbations may have importance in explaining the increasing evidence for stress-related hippocampal degenerative pathology and cognitive deficits seen in patients with PTSD.
Nitric oxide thus plays a major role in the pathophysiology of PTSD, thus presenting an area of major therapeutic opportunity for this mental illness.
Frasia Oosthuizen completed a BPharm, MSc and PhD (Pharmacology) at the Pothefstroom University for CHE (now North-West University).
Her postgraduate research focused on mental illness.
She is a senior lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Her main areas of research are Psychopharmacology, as well as Pharmacy Education
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