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post Sep 14, 2010, 06:12 PM
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Studies and research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
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post Mar 26, 2011, 03:10 AM
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QUOTE(GodConsciousness @ Sep 14, 2010, 06:12 PM) *

Studies and research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
PTSD Peaks in Women Aged 51-55 and Men Aged 41-45

New research shows that Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) peaks in men between the ages of 41-45 and in women between the ages 51-55. The study also found that around twice as many women experienced PTSD than men. The researchers show the need for further research to study the reasons why different rates of PTSD exist between the genders and age groups.

Women in their 50s more prone to PTSD than men

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rates peak in women later than they do in men. Researchers writing in BioMed Central’s open access journal Annals of General Psychiatry found that men are most vulnerable to PTSD between the ages of 41 and 45 years, while women are most vulnerable at 51 to 55.

Ask Elklit and Daniel N Ditlevsen, from the University of Southern Denmark and Odense University Hospital, Denmark, collected data from 6,548 participants in previous Danish or Nordic PTSD studies in order to investigate the gender difference in the lifespan distribution of PTSD. According to Elklit, “People now live for an increased number of years compared to that of previous generations, and as a result individuals have more years in which they can be affected by the negative consequences that can follow traumatic experiences. It is therefore important to pay attention to the risk of PTSD in relation to different stages in the lifespan”.

The researchers found that the total prevalence of PTSD was 21.3% and, as expected, PTSD was twice as common in women as in men. Most importantly, men and women peaked in the risk of PTSD a decade apart from each other during their respective lifespan. Elklit said, “This difference is of particular interest and needs to be investigated further in future research in order to develop more thorough explanations for the effect”.

Annals of General Psychiatry (in press)

Contact: Graeme Baldwin
Source: Annals of General Psychiatry & BioMed Central
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post Mar 26, 2011, 03:14 AM
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QUOTE(GodConsciousness @ Sep 14, 2010, 06:12 PM) *

Studies and research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Larger Hippocampal Volume Associated With PTSD Recovery

A correlation between reduced hippocampal volume and chronic PTSD in some people has been noted in many studies. Some research also suggests that a smaller hippocampus could denote a risk factor for PTSD.

A new study suggests, on average, people with greater hippocampal volume are better able to recover from post traumatic stress disorder than those with reduced hippocampal volume.

While more research does need to be undertaken, researchers are optimistic that treatments to increase hippocampal volume could assist in recovery for some from PTSD symptoms. One promising therapy could be a short term course of antidepressants. Researchers previously reported that a six month course of antidepressant therapy helped to increase hippocampal volume in a number of PTSD patients.

Hippocampal volume and resilience in posttramatic stress disorder

The hippocampus, a brain region implicated in memory and interpreting environmental contexts, has been the focus of a controversy in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Early MRI studies suggested that the volume of the hippocampus was reduced in some people with chronic PTSD. This observation was interpreted as suggesting that stress produced atrophy within the hippocampus, consistent with a body of research conducted in animals. Supporting this hypothesis, it appears that the same region of the hippocampus that is most-sensitive to stress effects in animals, the CA3 region, may show the greatest volume reductions in people with PTSD.

More recently, the non-traumatized identical twins of people with PTSD were shown to have smaller hippocampal volumes, suggesting that a small hippocampus might be a risk factor for PTSD. This hypothesis relates to the role that the hippocampus plays in drawing inferences about one’s environmental context, such as evaluating the safety of the environment. The hippocampus also provides some inhibitory control of hypothalamic centers that control the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Now, a new study in Biological Psychiatry has found that larger hippocampal volume is associated with recovery of PTSD. Brigitte Apfel and colleagues used structural magnetic resonance imaging to study hippocampal volume in Gulf War veterans who recovered from PTSD in comparison to veterans with chronic PTSD and to control participants who never had PTSD. They found that recovered veterans had, on average, larger hippocampal volumes than those with chronic PTSD and similar volumes compared to the control participants.

“These results need to be interpreted with caution because we did not measure brain changes over time. However, the finding suggests that hippocampal damage in PTSD is reversible once the symptoms remit,” explained Dr. Apfel. “If our finding can be confirmed, it might suggest that treatment of PTSD could be viewed as brain restoration rather than primarily a way to ease symptoms.”

Does this finding help to resolve the conundrum of whether the hippocampus is a target of stress or a contributor to stress response?

This finding would appear to support the hypothesis that a small hippocampus is a risk factor for the persistence of PTSD, because people with larger hippocampi seemed better able to recover. This finding may be consistent with the observation that some gene variants associated with emotional resilience in response to stress are also associated with larger hippocampal volume. Alternatively, it is possible that smaller hippocampi reflect early life stress or other environmental factors that compromise resilience in adulthood.

A major remaining question is whether treatment-related increases in hippocampal volume mediate aspects of the therapeutic responses to PTSD treatments. A prior study reported that six months of antidepressant treatment increased hippocampal volume in people with PTSD.

“It may be time to view hippocampal volume as both a modulator of stress resilience and as a target for the negative impact of stress and the positive effects of treatments,” commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. “This more complex view might explain how the negative effects of stress “feed forward” to worsen outcomes in the face of subsequent stressors, while treatments would similarly cumulatively promote resilience.”

Contact: Chris J. Pfister
Source: Elsevier
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post Mar 26, 2011, 03:21 AM
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QUOTE(GodConsciousness @ Sep 14, 2010, 06:12 PM) *

Studies and research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

PTSD – Mental Toll of War Still Costly 20 Years Later

Some villages in Liberia have much higher rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, than others. The villages that were more directly involved in recent wars were much more likely to house villagers suffering from many years of PTSD, even up to 20 years after the major conflicts in the areas ended.

‘Path of mental illness’ follows path of war, 20 years after conflict ends

Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health assessed the geographical distribution of the long-term burden of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in a region of Liberia and report that the prevalence of PTSD remains high nearly two decades after the principal conflict there and five years after war in Liberia ended entirely. Particularly interesting was the geographic distribution of PTSD. Investigators found that certain villages in the region had a much higher prevalence of PTSD than did others. When they compared to the historical record about the path of the violent civil conflict that Nimba County experienced from 1989 to 1990 the team found that these were villages that had experienced the greater burden of war.

“This suggests that there is much more to the aftermath of conflict than a ‘path of blood’ and that populations who are unfortunate enough to have been in the ‘path of trauma’ experiencing severe, violent conflict are likely to bear a burden of psychopathology for decades thereafter,” says Sandro Galea, MD, chair of the Mailman School Department of Epidemiology, and the study’s first author.

The pattern of conflict and psychopathology is even more remarkable, observes Dr. Galea, when considering that so many in the sample were very young during the period of these events and did not themselves experience some of the traumatic events firsthand.

Results of the study are currently online in the American Journal of Public Health.

Overall the study also found a very high prevalence of PTSD. “Our demonstration of a high prevalence of PTSD here is not surprising and is consistent with a recent nationally representative survey in Liberia showing that 44% of respondents in the general population reported symptoms consistent with PTSD,” Dr. Galea said. “We believe that the prolonged and high prevalence of PTSD is consistent with the greater burden of war experienced in Nimba County as compared with some other parts of the country.”

“To put this in perspective, according to the lifetime prevalence of PTSD in the United States, studies suggest that more than one third of all PTSD after traumatic experiences resolves in the first six months after such events,” noted Galea.

The investigators based their findings on a representative survey of the population in post-conflict Nimba County, Liberia, combined with a historical analysis. Following 14 years of civil war in the Republic of Liberia, more than 250,000 lives were lost and more than one-third of the population was displaced.


About the Mailman School of Public Health

The only accredited school of public health in New York City and among the first in the nation, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health pursues an agenda of research, education, and service to address the critical and complex public health issues affecting millions of people locally and globally. The Mailman School is the recipient of some of the largest government and private grants in Columbia University’s history. Its more than 1000 graduate students pursue master’s and doctoral degrees, and the School’s 300 multi-disciplinary faculty members work in more than 100 countries around the world, addressing such issues as infectious and chronic diseases, health promotion and disease prevention, environmental health, maternal and child health, health over the life course, health policy, and public health preparedness.

Contact: Stephanie Berger
Source: Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health
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post Mar 26, 2011, 03:24 AM
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QUOTE(GodConsciousness @ Sep 14, 2010, 06:12 PM) *

Studies and research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The Fearless SM: Woman Missing Amygdala

A woman with bilateral damage relatively restricted to the amygdala is the subject of a case study recently reported.

SM, as she will be known to the public, seems able to experience emotions such as happiness and sadness normally, but shows no signs of fear.

This article offers more details about the remarkable SM and gives a glimpse into possible directions for the research to take such as non-invasively controlling the amygdala to reduce fear in PTSD sufferers.

When the brain knows no fear
A new study, published online on December 16 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, offers new insight into the emotional life of a unique individual who completely lacks the function of an almond-shaped structure in the brain known as the amygdala. Studies over the last 50 years have shown that the amygdala plays a central role in generating fear reactions in animals from rats to monkeys. Based on the detailed case study of the woman identified only as SM, it now appears that the same is true of humans.The finding offers a powerful take on the connection between the brain and behavior, specifically in the context of situations that would normally evoke fear, the researchers say.

“The nature of fear is survival and the amygdala helps us stay alive by avoiding situations, people, or objects that put our life in danger,” said Justin Feinstein of the University of Iowa. “Because SM is missing her amygdala, she is also missing the ability to detect and avoid danger in the world. It is quite remarkable that she is still alive.”

Feinstein says that the average person may have different definitions of fear, but his goal ultimately is to define emotions including fear based on the biological machinery that triggers them.

“Normally, the amygdala is constantly sorting through all the information coming into our brain through the different senses in order to rapidly detect anything that might impact our survival,” he explained. “Once it detects danger, the amygdala orchestrates a rapid full-body response that compels us to stay away from the threat, thereby improving our chances for survival.”

To explore this role of the amygdala, Feinstein and his Univeristy of Iowa team observed and recorded SM’s responses in a variety of situations that would make most people feel fear. They exposed her to snakes and spiders, took her to one of the world’s scariest haunted houses, and had her watch a series of horror films. They also had her fill out questionnaires probing different aspects of fear, from the fear of death to the fear of public speaking. On top of that, SM faithfully recorded her emotions at various times throughout the day while carrying around an electronic diary over a 3-month period. Across all questionnaires, measures, and scenarios, SM failed to experience fear.

That apparent lack of fear mirrored her personal experience, Feinstein said. “In everyday life, SM has encountered numerous traumatic events which have threatened her very existence, and by her report, have caused no fear. Yet, she is able to feel other emotions such as happiness and sadness. Taken together, these findings suggest that the human amygdala is a pivotal area of the brain for triggering a state of fear.”

Feinstein said he was most surprised at what happened when SM was presented with snakes and spiders in an exotic pet store. “For many years, SM has been telling us that she ‘hates’ snakes and spiders and ‘tries to avoid them.’ Going into the experiment, everyone, including myself, thought SM would stay away from these animals. Yet, to our surprise, she immediately started touching them! When asked why she was touching something that she claims to hate, she appeared perplexed by her own behavior and stated that she was overcome with curiosity. It was as if the part of the brain responsible for SM’s cognition and thoughts was completely disconnected from the part of the brain controlling her behavior.”

Feinstein says the new findings suggest that methods designed to safely and non-invasively turn off the amygdala might hold promise for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“This past year, I’ve been treating veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan who suffer from PTSD,” he said. “Their lives are marred by fear, and they are oftentimes unable to even leave their home due to the ever-present feeling of danger. In striking contrast, SM is immune to these states of fear and shows no symptoms of post-traumatic stress. In essence, traumatic events leave no emotional imprint on SM’s brain. By understanding how the brain processes fear through cases like SM, we may one day be able to create treatments that selectively target the brain areas that allow fear to take over our lives.”

Contact: Elisabeth (Lisa) Lyons – Cell Press
Source: Cell Press
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post Mar 26, 2011, 02:59 PM
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QUOTE(GodConsciousness @ Sep 14, 2010, 06:12 PM) *

Studies and research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Physically Fit Children Have Bigger Hippocampal Volume

Neuroscientists have reported they have found an association between physical fitness and brain development in children. The report suggests children who are physically fitter tend to have larger hippocampi and perform better in memory based tests than their less fit counterparts.

Children’s brain development is linked to physical fitness

Researchers have found an association between physical fitness and the brain in 9- and 10-year-old children: Those who are more fit tend to have a bigger hippocampus and perform better on a test of memory than their less-fit peers.

The new study, which used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the relative size of specific structures in the brains of 49 child subjects, appears in the journal Brain Research.

“This is the first study I know of that has used MRI measures to look at differences in brain between kids who are fit and kids who aren’t fit,” said University of Illinois psychology professor and Beckman Institute director Art Kramer, who led the study with doctoral student Laura Chaddock and kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman. “Beyond that, it relates those measures of brain structure to cognition.”

The study focused on the hippocampus, a structure tucked deep in the brain, because it is known to be important in learning and memory. Previous studies in older adults and in animals have shown that exercise can increase the size of the hippocampus. A bigger hippocampus is associated with better performance on spatial reasoning and other cognitive tasks.

“In animal studies, exercise has been shown to specifically affect the hippocampus, significantly increasing the growth of new neurons and cell survival, enhancing memory and learning, and increasing molecules that are involved in the plasticity of the brain,” Chaddock said.

Rather than relying on second-hand reports of children’s physical activity level, the researchers measured how efficiently the subjects used oxygen while running on a treadmill.

“This is the gold standard measure of fitness,” Chaddock said.

The physically fit children were “much more efficient than the less-fit children at utilizing oxygen,” Kramer said.

When they analyzed the MRI data, the researchers found that the physically fit children tended to have bigger hippocampal volume about 12 percent bigger relative to total brain size than their out-of-shape peers.

The children who were in better physical condition also did better on tests of relational memory the ability to remember and integrate various types of information than their less-fit peers.

“Higher fit children had higher performance on the relational memory task, higher fit children had larger hippocampal volumes, and in general, children with larger hippocampal volumes had better relational memory,” Chaddock said.

Further analyses indicated that a bigger hippocampus boosted performance on the relational memory task.

“If you remove hippocampal volume from the equation,” Chaddock said, “the relationship between fitness and memory decreases.”

The new findings suggest that interventions to increase childhood physical activity could have an important effect on brain development, Kramer said.

“We knew that experience and environmental factors and socioeconomic status all impact brain development,” he said.

“If you get some lousy genes from your parents, you can’t really fix that, and it’s not easy to do something about your economic status. But here’s something that we can do something about,” Kramer said.

Contact: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor
Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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post Jul 17, 2011, 02:14 AM
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To control PTSD, hard phyical exercise.
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post Jun 15, 2012, 05:38 PM
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I became a PTSD Victim earlier in this year of 2012. In sucks worse than depression & anxiety & causes embarrassing aliments. I could tell you exactly what PTSD is like. , it involves using milk daily to prevent weight loss wasting, pacing in terror and buying disposable incontinence underwear.
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post Jun 15, 2012, 06:58 PM
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post Jun 28, 2018, 01:52 PM
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health good for us
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