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Using pharmacological reconsolidation-interference strategies to attenuate maladaptive appetitive memories

Walsh, Katie; (2019) Using pharmacological reconsolidation-interference strategies to attenuate maladaptive appetitive memories. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Under certain conditions memories can re-enter a transient, labile state in which they are susceptible to modification. ‘Reconsolidation’ thus describes the hypothetical process by which a reactivated memory is returned to a stable state. The current thesis will explore the potential of pharmacological reconsolidation-interference strategies in attenuating the maladaptive appetitive memories underlying alcohol dependence and binge eating disorder (BED). Chapter 1 presents an overview of the reconsolidation literature and its potential to treat disorders of maladaptive appetitive memory. In Chapter 2, a review and meta-analysis of the efficacy of treatments utilising behavioral and pharmacological reconsolidation strategies in clinical or sub-clinical populations is presented. In Chapter 3, the requirement for the inclusion of a prediction error (PE) at retrieval in a population of hazardous drinkers is assessed in a randomised, between subjects design (N=60). Although no effect of post-retrieval N2O (a predicted blocker of reconsolidation) was observed initially, exploratory analysis showed a memory-weakening effect only when administration occurred after cue-alcohol retrieval and PE. Chapter 4 presents a single blind, randomised, between subjects (N=90) study of the efficacy of the NMDA receptor antagonist ketamine. Relative to placebo and a no-reactivation group, ketamine produced significant reductions in drinking and putative measures of cue-alcohol memory strength. Chapter 5 explores the efficacy of rapamycin, a proven blocker of reconsolidation in pre-clinical models, to attenuate non-drug reward memory in a population with a tendency of overeat or binge on chocolate (N=75). No effect of rapamycin was observed, although this may represent the limited scope to see improvement in measures of disordered eating within this sample. Finally, Chapter 6 summaries and integrates the current findings into the existing literature. A discussion of the implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research on reconsolidation is given.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Using pharmacological reconsolidation-interference strategies to attenuate maladaptive appetitive memories
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: psychopharmacology, psychology, addiction, reconsolidation, memory, appetitive memory
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10086369
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