Wednesday, March 15, 2023

How Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Affects The Brain

Beyond Treatment: How Can I Help Myself

PTSD and the Brain

It may be very hard to take that first step to help yourself. It is important to realize that although it may take some time, with treatment, you can get better. If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your family doctor. You can also check NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses page or search online for mental health providers, social services, hotlines, or physicians for phone numbers and addresses. An emergency room doctor can also provide temporary help and can tell you where and how to get further help.

To help yourself while in treatment:

  • Talk with your doctor about treatment options
  • Engage in mild physical activity or exercise to help reduce stress
  • Set realistic goals for yourself
  • Break up large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can
  • Try to spend time with other people, and confide in a trusted friend or relative. Tell others about things that may trigger symptoms.
  • Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately
  • Identify and seek out comforting situations, places, and people

Caring for yourself and others is especially important when large numbers of people are exposed to traumatic events .

Analysis Of The Hippocampi Cerebellum And Basal

The cerebellum, hippocampi, and basal ganglia were segmented in all MR images using the Multiple Automatically Generated Templates algorithm , which utilized manually segmented images as atlases. Five such atlases were used for the cerebellum and hippocampi, and one atlas was used for the basal ganglia. An arbitrary subset of the MR images, which are designated as templates, are pair-wise registered to each of the atlases to create multiple anatomical segmentations , yielding a template library consisting of 105 labeled atlases per structure. These atlases are then averaged, and the most frequently occurring segmentation label per voxel is retained, resulting in a more accurate final anatomical segmentation. This procedure is known as voxel voting . The automatically segmented cerebellar, hippocampi, and basal ganglia structures for each brain were thereafter used for calculating and comparing the average structural volumes between groups. Dividing the structural volumes by the total brain volume, as computed through the sum of the grey matter, white matter and cerebrospinal fluid volumes in CIVET, yields a measure of the relative volume occupied by each structure.

Localized Cosy 2d Mr Spectroscopy

L-COSY data were acquired from a 3×3×3cm3 voxel positioned in the PCG. L-COSY was acquired with the following parameters: RF carrier frequency at 2.3ppm TR 1.5s water suppression using WET 96 t1 increments with 8 averages per increment, acquired vector size 1024 points acquisition time 512ms spectral width in F2 2000 Hz, and spectral width in F1 1250Hz . Time of acquisition was 19min. To minimize participant motion, soft padding was placed between the participants head and the head coil. Localized shimming was undertaken by adjustment of zero-order and first-order shim gradients using the automatic B0 field mapping technique supplied by the vendor followed by manual adjustment of accessible shim gradients to achieve a resulting peak width of water at half-maximum that was 15Hz or less.

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Postconcussive Syndrome And Ptsd

The issue of postconcussive syndrome is a vexed one, both in terms of its definition and its purported causes. It is also an issue that intersects with symptoms of PTSD. PCS is generally defined as a syndrome that involves headache, dizziness, fatigue, sensitivity to light or sound, sleep disturbance, and concentration difficulties.93 The definitions of PCS vary, and generally overlap somewhat with symptoms of PTSD. For example, the International Classification of Diseases 26 stipulates that PCS is defined by headaches, dizziness, general malaise, fatigue, noise intolerance, irritability, emotional lability, depression, or anxiety, concentration or memory difficulty, sleep disturbance, reduced tolerance to alcohol, and a preoccupation with these symptoms and fear of permanent brain damage. The Appendix of the DSM.-IV4 describes PCS as fatigue, sleep disturbance, headaches, dizziness, irritability, anxiety or depression, changes in personality, and apathy. These descriptions clearly overlap with common symptoms of post-traumatic stress, and represent differential diagnosis problems insofar as how one attributes these symptoms to PCS or PTSD.

Your Reaction To Trauma Depends On You

PTSD: Exposure To Trauma Could Impact Ability To Forget Painful Memories

While PTSD often manifests as a reliving of a traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, some people are affected more than others. “Some individuals may experience feelings of isolation, irritability, and guilt, and have difficulty sleeping and concentrating,” Nealon says.

And, although scientists have been able to define changes in brain structures, more research needs to be done to understand how some individuals end up with a diagnosis of PTSD and others don’t, despite being exposed to the same type of trauma, Cummins says.

“For example, some individuals in war combat will endure symptoms of PTSD throughout their life while others won’t,” Cummins says. “This can happen even if two individuals were on the same deployment and were exposed to the same traumas.”

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , a resource manual for mental health professionals, a person must have been exposed to “actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence” in order to be diagnosed with PTSD.

Besides that, though, there’s no threshold for whether something is traumatic enough to cause PTSD it depends more on the brain’s reaction to it, and how seriously a person is affected. PTSD can even be caused by witnessing or learning about a trauma that happened to someone else, or in rare cases, by looking at traumatic videos or photos.

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Treatment For Children And Teenagers With Ptsd

For children and teenagers who are struggling to recover after a traumatic event, the recommended treatment is trauma-focussed cognitive behavioural therapy . This treatment involves:

  • learning about the type of traumatic event experienced and common reactions to trauma
  • teaching how to relax and manage anxiety
  • helping to create a coherent story of the traumatic event, and correct any unhelpful beliefs about the event such as self-blame
  • gradual exposure to trauma-related objects or situations that are feared or avoided
  • helping to get back into everyday activities.

How Is Ptsd Detected

Most people experience intense emotions after a traumatic event. Under extreme stress, the brain reverts to primitive, survival-oriented thinking. The body activates the fight-or-flight response in a split-second when confronted by danger. Some people freeze, unable to stop reliving the horror.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder worsens as the individual consciously tries not to think about what happened. Constant avoidance of disturbing thoughts and memories leaves people emotionally numb.

Anger, irritability, disrupted sleep, and substance use disorders are among the warning signs of PTSD. While its normal to experience acute anxiety after a traumatic event, fear usually goes away in time. The disorder is diagnosed when symptoms last longer than four weeks, cause significant distress, or disrupt daily life.

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Is Emotional Trauma A Brain Injury

According to recent studies, Emotional Trauma and PTSD do cause both brain and physical damage. Neuropathologists have seen overlapping effects of physical and emotional trauma upon the brain. With such an overlap it can be seen that both of these traumas have a detrimental effect upon the Amygdala, the Hippocampus and the Prefrontal cortex of the brain. Meaning that Emotional Trauma or PTSD does indeed result in brain injury/damage.

How Common Is Post

The psychology of post-traumatic stress disorder – Joelle Rabow Maletis

Experiencing trauma is not rare as approximately 6 of every 10 men , and 5 of every 10 women will experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. Men are more likely to experience trauma in the form of accidents, physical assault, combat, or witness death or injury. Women are more likely to experience sexual assault and child sexual abuse.

Some people have inherited a gene from a parent who had PTSD, making them more susceptible to forming it themselves.

However, post-traumatic stress disorder can strike anyone at any time regardless of age or other demographics. No one is immune from PTSD, and as the world changes, it becomes more likely for one to experience a traumatic event that causes it.

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The Three Main Areas Affected By Brain Trauma

According to the World of Psychology, nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population experiences a traumatic event at some point in their lives. That trauma can have severe and life-changing effects on the brain and its function. By recognizing the areas affected, it is possible to seek immediate treatment and potentially improve your chances of recovery and rehabilitation.

An extremely stressful or traumatic event may dramatically alter brain function in the following areas:

  • The prefrontal cortex, or the thinking center of the brain. This area of the brain is located behind the forehead at the top of the head. Severe PTSD may affect cognitive abilities like rational thought, decision-making, and perception of ourselves and others. Planning, problem-solving, and empathy are all based in this center of the brain. Individuals who have PTSD often exhibit anxiety, fear, and extreme stress when faced with situations that may be only remotely connected to their past experiences.
  • The anterior cingulate cortex , or the center where emotions are regulated. This area of the brain is near the prefrontal cortex, but is located a bit deeper in the brain. PTSD may affect the individuals ability to regulate emotions and may cause depression. Subdivisions of the ACC that may be damaged may cause serious and lasting impairment to the motor processes, cognitive function, and affective processes, according to the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience.
  • The Science And Biology Of Ptsd

    PTSD isnt all in the mind or something you can just get over or move on from. No matter how much reasoning and coaxing you do, someone with PTSD may find it impossible to achieve sustainable recovery without professional treatment.

    Thats because post-traumatic stress disorder is a form of injury to the brain. Bringing with it physical as well as mental symptoms and changes.

    We feel its really important to understand how the brain can change with PTSD and C-PTSD. Brain scans show that PTSD symptoms and behaviours are caused by biological changes in the brain, NOT by some personal failure. Understanding the changes can also help friends and families gain a better understanding that their loved ones PTSD symptoms are not their fault. This can promote forgiveness and encourages families to become more involved in the healing process.

    Modern science has enabled us to get a far clearer picture of the brain and in fact the whole neurological systems structure and activities. It has become possible to map and measure the different development paths that each human brain follows. Our age and the things that happen to us each day naturally dictate microscopic changes to our brains structure.

    This article looks at the parts of the brain affected by PTSD.

    As a starting point, heres an important definition. The things that affect our body are referred to as physiological. When its our emotions and mental capabilities that are impacted, the word used is psychological.

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    Normal Development Of The Brain Across The Lifespan

    To understand how traumatic stress occurring at different stages of the life cycle interacts with the developing brain, it is useful to review normal brain development. The normal human brain undergoes changes in structure and function across the lifespan from early childhood to late life. Understanding these normal developmental changes is critical for determining the difference between normal development and pathology, and how normal development and pathology interact.

    Although the bulk of brain development occurs in utero, the brain continues to develop after birth. In the first 5 years of life there is an overall expansion of brain volume related to development of both gray matter and white matter structures however, from 7 to 17 years of age there is a progressive increase in white matter and decrease in gray matter while overall brain size stays the same.1316 Gray matter areas that undergo the greatest increases throughout this latter developmental epoch include frontal cortex and parietal cortex.17,18 Basal ganglia decrease in size, while corpus callosum,19,20 hippocampus, and amygdala2123 appear to increase in size during childhood, although there may be developmental sex-laterality effects for some of these structures.24 Overall brain size is 10% larger in boys than girls during childhood.24

    The Benefits Of Early Treatment For Post

    PTSD News: Presentations on the neurobiology of PTSD this week

    These physical and psychological symptoms can mean long-term dangerous effects, especially the longer it takes for a person to get treatment for PTSD. The risks of developing or worsening co-occurring mental health disorders also increase when necessary treatment is delayed. If you have a loved one who is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, its very important to recognize that they need compassionate clinical care. This is the only way for them to safely overcome the difficult obstacles to processing their trauma and to mitigate the possible risks to their brain and body health.

    Whereas life with post-traumatic stress disorder can feel volatile and out of control, treatment for PTSD can feel safe and supportive for someone who has been haunted by their trauma for a long time. Long-term treatment gives clients a chance to develop strong, trusting relationships with their therapists, who can help them to truly reshape the active relationship to stress and trauma. Only in the context of a treatment center, under the close assessment of clinicians, can a clients particular treatment needs be determined. PTSD treatment options are diverse, and individualized plans respond to each persons recovery needs. Healing begins here.

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    Ptsd And Healthy Volunteer Cohorts

    The PTSD participants reported the following types of trauma: occupational traumatic exposure in emergency services occupational traumatic exposure in the police force deployment related , life threatened , and traumatic relationship . Nine PTSD participants had current major depressive disorder and one had past major depressive disorder . Two PTSD participants were not on medications, the medications being taken by the remaining participants are detailed in Table . None of the healthy volunteers exhibited any PTSD symptoms and had no lifetime history of a mood or anxiety disorder, major head injury, current or past history of neurological disease. Nor were the control cohort found to exhibit any other types of neurological conditions. There was no significant difference between the mean group age, gender, or years of education as shown below in Table .

    What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    Posttraumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury.

    PTSD has been known by many names in the past, such as shell shock during the years of World War I and combat fatigue after World War II, but PTSD does not just happen to combat veterans. PTSD can occur in all people, of any ethnicity, nationality or culture, and at any age. PTSD affects approximately 3.5 percent of U.S. adults every year, and an estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime. Women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD. Three ethnic groups U.S. Latinos, African Americans, and American Indians are disproportionately affected and have higher rates of PTSD than non-Latino whites.

    People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares they may feel sadness, fear or anger and they may feel detached or estranged from other people. People with PTSD may avoid situations or people that remind them of the traumatic event, and they may have strong negative reactions to something as ordinary as a loud noise or an accidental touch.

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    How To Know If You Need Help

    Though there’s no cure for PTSD, you should seek help from a healthcare professional if you can’t socialize, function at work, concentrate or sleep at night. A PTSD diagnosis is usually made if you’ve had symptoms for more than one month.

    Current PTSD treatments include medications, mindfulness, service animals , and individual and group therapy, Cummins says. “It could be that your predominant symptoms are anxiety or depression,” Dr. Saltz says. “Your treatment should be aimed directly at the symptoms you’re experiencing.”

    Having a solid relationship with your healthcare professional can be pivotal, too.

    “Decreased symptoms are typically seen over time when patients establish relationships with their clinicians and feel less alone in handling the challenges that come from PTSD,” Cummins says. “Additionally, increased support from friends and family can help reduce the feeling of social isolation that can result from PTSD.”

    What Are The Effects Of Ptsd

    Mental Health Myth Busters: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder | PTSD

    There are many. They may include disturbing flashbacks, trouble sleeping, emotional numbness, angry outbursts, and feelings of guilt. You might also avoid things that remind you of the event, and lose interest in things that you enjoy.

    Symptoms usually start within 3 months of a trauma. But they might not show up until years afterward. They last for at least a month. Without treatment, you can have PTSD for years or even the rest of your life. You can feel better or worse over time. For example, a news report about an assault on television may trigger overwhelming memories of your own assault.

    PTSD interferes with your life. It makes it harder for you to trust, communicate, and solve problems. This can lead to problems in your relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. It also affects your physical health. In fact, studies show that it raises your risk of heart disease and digestive disorders.

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