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Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2009 Oct;45(4):262-77. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6163.2009.00229.x.

PTSD is associated with an excess of inflammatory immune activities.

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  • 1National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Nursing Research, Bethesda, MD, USA.


PURPOSE. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with inflammatory-related medical conditions. This review examines studies of immune function in individuals with PTSD to determine if excessive inflammation is associated with PTSD. CONCLUSIONS. Current studies suggest an excess of inflammatory actions of the immune system in individuals with chronic PTSD. High levels of inflammatory cytokines have also been linked to PTSD vulnerability in traumatized individuals. There is also evidence that excessive inflammation is in part due to insufficient regulation by cortisol. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS. An excess of inflammatory immune activity may contribute to health declines in individuals with PTSD, and treating PTSD symptoms may reduce these risks.

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