Modulation of the endocannabinoid system by sex hormones: Implications for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Publication date: Available online 11 July 2018Source: Neuroscience &Biobehavioral ReviewsAuthor(s): Luke John Ney, Allison Matthews, Raimondo Bruno, Kim Louise FelminghamAbstractThe endocannabinoid system is an increasingly recognised pharmacological target for treating stress and anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent preclinical developments have implicated the endocannabinoid system in stress responses, emotional memories and fear extinction, all critical to PTSD aetiology. However, preclinical research in endocannabinoid biology has neglected the influential role of sex hormone differences on PTSD symptomology, which is particularly important given that PTSD is twice as common in women as in men. In this review, we compile and consider the evidence that the endocannabinoid system is influenced by ovarian hormones, with application to stress disorders such as PTSD. It is clear that therapeutic modulation of the endocannabinoid system needs to be approached with awareness of ovarian hormonal influences, and knowledge of these influences may enhance treatment outcomes for female PTSD populations.
Source: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research

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