martes, 10 de enero de 2012

Brain Scans for PTSD | Medical News and Health Information

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Brain Scans for PTSD Medical News and Health Information

Brain Scans for PTSD -- Research Summary

BACKGROUND: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms typically start within three months of a traumatic event. In a small number of cases, though, PTSD symptoms may not appear until years after the event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while. But with time and taking care of yourself, such traumatic reactions usually get better. In some cases, though, the symptoms can get worse or last for months or even years. Sometimes they may completely shake up your life. In a case such as this, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder. Getting treatment as soon as possible after post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms develop may prevent long-term post-traumatic stress disorder. (

RISK FACTORS: People of all ages can have post-traumatic stress disorder. However, some factors may make you more likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic event, including: Being female; experiencing intense or long-lasting trauma; having experienced other trauma earlier in life; having other mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression; lacking a good support system of family and friends; having first-degree relatives with mental health problems, including PTSD; having first-degree relatives with depression; and having been abused or neglected as a child.

Women may be at increased risk of PTSD because they are more likely to experience the kinds of trauma that can trigger the condition. Post-traumatic stress disorder is especially common among those who have served in combat. It's sometimes called "shell shock," "battle fatigue" or "combat stress." The most common events leading to the development of PTSD include: Combat exposure; rape; childhood neglect and physical abuse; sexual molestation; physical attack or being threatened with a weapon. But many other traumatic events also can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, including fire, natural disaster, mugging, robbery, assault, civil conflict, car accident, plane crash, torture, kidnapping, life-threatening medical diagnosis, terrorist attack and other extreme or life-threatening events. (

M-E-G: The dome-shaped MEG scanner captures bursts of neuron activity that last only milliseconds. By comparison, a functional MRI scan takes three seconds to make a picture. When researchers overlay data from MEG scans on a map of the brain, they can show abnormalities—even subtle ones—as patches of color, indicating precisely which areas of the brain may be damaged. The researchers found that in veterans with PTSD, the working connections among groups of brain cells were much stronger on the right side of the brain, in an area known as the parieto-temporal region. ( MORE




Brian Engdahl, PhD
VA Medical Center
, Minneapolis(612)

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