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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by hyperarousal, flashbacks, avoidance, and memory dysfunctions. Although psychotherapy improves the clinical symptoms, its effect on memory has not been explored. In addition, there is no information about gene expression changes related to hippocampal functions. We assessed PTSD patients (n = 20) using the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) and a paired associates learning (PAL) test, as well as changes in blood FK506 binding protein (FKBP5) mRNA expression before and after cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Results revealed that before CBT PTSD patients were impaired on WAIS-R delayed recall, attention/concentration, and PAL compared with trauma-exposed control subjects (n = 20). These memory dysfunctions showed a significant improvement after CBT. Better performance on the PAL test correlated with enhanced blood FKBP5 mRNA expression. These results suggest that elevated FKBP5 expression during CBT is related to improved associative memory linked to the hippocampal formation.

Szabó, C., Kelemen, O., & Kéri, S. (2014). Changes in FKBP5 expression and memory functions during cognitive–behavioral therapy in posttraumatic stress disorder: A preliminary study. Neuroscience Letters, 569, 116-120.

The Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (BSS) is a useful tool designed to help clinicians detect and measure the severity of suicidal ideation. For more information on the BSS, visit www.beckscales.com.