University of Cambridge > > Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series > Challenges and Opportunities in Exploiting Reconsolidation to Treat Mental Health Disorders

Challenges and Opportunities in Exploiting Reconsolidation to Treat Mental Health Disorders

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Chair: Prof Jeff Dalley

Abstract:Despite advances in pharmacological and psychological therapies over the past decades, there is still an unmet need for new treatment development for mental health disorders. One such potential treatment is targeting the reconsolidation of maladaptive memories that support mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and drug addiction. Over the past 15 years, we have aimed to exploit the memory reconsolidation process to disrupt both pavlovian and instrumental memories supporting maladaptive behaviours. Using pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches, we have found that reconsolidation-based interventions can persistently reduce maladaptive behaviour in rodent models with relevance to mental health disorders. While challenges remain for the development of reconsolidation-based interventions to treat mental health disorders, we conclude that this approach ultimately holds promise for translation to the clinical situation.

Biography: Dr Amy L Milton is a University Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, and the Ferreras-Willetts Fellow in Neuroscience at Downing College, Cambridge. Her research focuses on memory reconsolidation from a basic science perspective and in terms of its potential translation into a novel form of treatment for mental health disorders. She received her MA after specialising in Natural Sciences (Neuroscience) at Newnham College, University of Cambridge, and studied for her PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience with Professor Barry Everitt at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge. She is the Principal Investigator of the Memories in Neuropsychiatric Disorders (MiND) lab, where her group are using a combination of behavioural and molecular neurobiological approaches in rodents to understand how maladaptive emotional memories become modifiable, and how they persist in the brain.

This talk is part of the Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series series.

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