Reduced fear-recognition sensitivity following acute buprenorphine administration in healthy volunteers

by Dr. Rich on December 5, 2012

Summary: In rodents, the endogenous opioid system has been implicated in emotion regulation, and in the reduction of fear in particular. In humans, while there is evidence that the opioid antagonist naloxone acutely enhances the acquisition of conditioned fear, there are no corresponding data on the effect of opioid agonists in moderating responses to fear. We investigated whether a single 0.2mg administration of the mu-opioid agonist buprenorphine would decrease fear sensitivity with an emotion-recognition paradigm. Healthy human subjects participated in a randomized placebo-controlled within-subject design, in which they performed a dynamic emotion recognition task 120min after administration of buprenorphine and placebo. In the recognition task, basic emotional expressions were morphed …

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