PROJECT: JTC2017: topdownPTSD

Mapping and interrogating top-down control of the memory engram of the posttraumatic stress disorder


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder of significant prevalence and morbidity, whose pathogenesis relies on paradoxical changes of emotional memory processing. In PTSD, life threatening experience leave a lasting trace of fear memory, which can last a lifetime. It is estimated that roughly 50% of the people world-wide will encounter a trauma-causing experience once in their lifetime. This generate a huge burden on the European Union citizens and calls for attention to tackle PTSD. There is no suitable treatment is currently available to treat the cognitive features of PTSD, and/or to prevent its development. The present project aims at investigating the neurobiological underpinnings (at a synaptic level) of acute and chronic response to a traumatic experience both in animal and human subjects, who will (susceptible) or will not (resileint) develop the chronic pathological phenotype. Understanding the neurobiological basis of PTSD can be of great help in the identification of innovative therapeutic strategies. This can be done through genetic, biomarker, imaging and psychological screening. By generating drugs that activate these molecular mediators of plasticity, it may be possible to enhance extinction of inappropriate fear associations.


Gene targeting in the brain, Stem cells and neural differentiation/cell therapy, Imaging techniques, Pharmacology, Electrophisiological approaches, Behavioural methodologies, (epi)genetic approaches, methylation, Intellectual disability, omics approaches, animal model, dentate gyrus, Translational, Multidisciplinary, Synaptopathy, iPSC, Organoid, human brain models, SYNGAP1, rats, post-traumatic stress disorder, brain circuits, functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, inducible gene expression system, silencing of synaptic output, memory engram, basolateral amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex, locus coeruleus

Call topic

Synaptic Dysfunction

Proposed runtime

2018 - 2021

Project team

Mazahir Hasan (Coordinator)
Spain (MINECO)
Stefano Puglisi-Allegra
Italy (MOH)
Agnes Gruart i Masso
Spain (MINECO)
Philipp B”hm-Sturm
Germany (BMBF)
Stephanie Le Hellard
Norway (RCN)
Ewa Oglodek
Poland (NCBR)