“Neurobiology of PTSD” chapter abstracts

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common and severe psychiatric disorder precipitated by exposure to a psychologically distressing event. PTSD is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. PTSD is characterized by the presence of three distinct, but co-occurring, symptom clusters. Reexperiencing symptoms describe spontaneous, often insuppressible intrusions of the traumatic memory in the form of images or nightmares that are accompanied by intense physiological distress. Avoidance symptoms involve restricting thoughts and distancing oneself from reminders of the event, as well as more generalized emotional and social withdrawal. Hyperarousal symptoms reflect more overt physiological manifestations, such as insomnia, irritability, impaired concentration. The estimated lifetime prevalence of PTSD among adult Americans is about 8%, with women (10%) twice as likely as men (5%) to have PTSD at some point in their lives. Research evidence suggests that PTSD has a neurobiological basis. Stressful events in early life affect the neural circuit associated with fear related processes, and consequently may alter the lifelong sensitivity to emotional stress. Current research on the neurobiology of PTSD include the utilization of functional brain imaging; molecular genetic research; the incorporation of cross-system research including neuroendocrine, neurochemical, and neuroimmunological systems. The future of PTSD neurobiological research will center upon efforts to integrate the disparate findings within and among numerous biological systems. The results of the most recent research studies will be presented in this book. “Neurobiology of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder” is mostly for M.D. or Ph.D. level professionals but may be of significant interest to mental health counselors, medical and psychology students, and lay people.Publisher: Nova Science Publishers Editors: Leo Sher and Alexander Vilens Chapter abstracts: