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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2006;8(4):445-61.

Traumatic stress: effects on the brain.

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1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga 30306, USA. jdbremn@emory.edu

Abstract

Brain areas implicated in the stress response include the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. Traumatic stress can be associated with lasting changes in these brain areas. Traumatic stress is associated with increased cortisol and norepinephrine responses to subsequent stressors. Antidepressants have effects on the hippocampus that counteract the effects of stress. Findings from animal studies have been extended to patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) showing smaller hippocampal and anterior cingulate volumes, increased amygdala function, and decreased medial prefrontal/anterior cingulate function. In addition, patients with PTSD show increased cortisol and norepinephrine responses to stress. Treatments that are efficacious for PTSD show a promotion of neurogenesis in animal studies, as well as promotion of memory and increased hippocampal volume in PTSD.

PMID:
17290802
PMCID:
PMC3181836
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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