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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2011;13(3):263-78.

Post-traumatic stress disorder: the neurobiological impact of psychological trauma.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33136, USA. jonathan.sherin@va.gov

Abstract

The classic fight-or-flight response to perceived threat is a reflexive nervous phenomenon thai has obvious survival advantages in evolutionary terms. However, the systems that organize the constellation of reflexive survival behaviors following exposure to perceived threat can under some circumstances become dysregulated in the process. Chronic dysregulation of these systems can lead to functional impairment in certain individuals who become "psychologically traumatized" and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), A body of data accumulated over several decades has demonstrated neurobiological abnormalities in PTSD patients. Some of these findings offer insight into the pathophysiology of PTSD as well as the biological vulnerability of certain populations to develop PTSD, Several pathological features found in PTSD patients overlap with features found in patients with traumatic brain injury paralleling the shared signs and symptoms of these clinical syndromes.

KEYWORDS:

PTSD; biological markers; pathophysiology; psychological trauma; psychopathology; stress; traumatic brain injury

PMID:
22034143
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3182008
Free PMC Article

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