News

For military veterans suffering from PTSD, are service dogs good therapy?
Media Article

March 27th, 2018 | via The Washington Post

Trauma and PTSD in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys.
Research Article

Kessler, R. C., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., Alonso, J., et al. (2017).
European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 8 (e-pub).

Abstract
Background: Although post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) onset-persistence is thought to vary significantly by trauma type, most epidemiological surveys are incapable of assessing this because they evaluate lifetime PTSD only for traumas nominated by respondents as their 'worst.' Objective: To review research on associations of trauma type with PTSD in the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) surveys, a series of epidemiological surveys that obtained representative data on trauma-specific PTSD. Method: WMH Surveys in 24 countries (n = 68,894) assessed 29 lifetime traumas and evaluated PTSD twice for each respondent: once for the 'worst' lifetime trauma and separately for a randomly-selected trauma with weighting to adjust for individual differences in trauma exposures. PTSD onset-persistence was evaluated with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Results: In total, 70.4% of respondents experienced lifetime traumas, with exposure averaging 3.2 traumas per capita. Substantial between-trauma differences were found in PTSD onset but less in persistence. Traumas involving interpersonal violence had highest risk. Burden of PTSD, determined by multiplying trauma prevalence by trauma-specific PTSD risk and persistence, was 77.7 person-years/100 respondents. The trauma types with highest proportions of this burden were rape (13.1%), other sexual assault (15.1%), being stalked (9.8%), and unexpected death of a loved one (11.6%). The first three of these four represent relatively uncommon traumas with high PTSD risk and the last a very common trauma with low PTSD risk. The broad category of intimate partner sexual violence accounted for nearly 42.7% of all person-years with PTSD. Prior trauma history predicted both future trauma exposure and future PTSD risk. Conclusions: Trauma exposure is common throughout the world, unequally distributed, and differential across trauma types with respect to PTSD risk. Although a substantial minority of PTSD cases remits within months after onset, mean symptom duration is considerably longer than previously recognized.
PTSD Too
Media Article
Survivors of sexual assault are the hidden face of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

December 5th, 2017 | via US News & World Report

The Catch-22 that keeps many vets from getting help
Media Article

November 26th, 2017 | via CNN

What’s Killing America’s Veterans? Here’s What the Data Says
Media Article

November 10th, 2017 | via Fortune

The Trauma after the Storm
Media Article
Following hurricanes and other major disasters comes another wave of trouble: post traumatic stress

November 7th, 2017 | via Scientific American

Women Vets Have More Than Double the Suicide Rate of Civilian Women
Media Article

September 21st, 2017 | via Newsweek

Amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex, and hippocampal function in PTSD.
Research Article

Shin, L. M., Rauch, S. L., & Pitman, R. K. (2006).
Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 1071, 67-79.

Abstract
The last decade of neuroimaging research has yielded important information concerning the structure, neurochemistry, and function of the amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex, and hippocampus in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Neuroimaging research reviewed in this article reveals heightened amygdala responsivity in PTSD during symptomatic states and during the processing of trauma-unrelated affective information. Importantly, amygdala responsivity is positively associated with symptom severity in PTSD. In contrast, medial prefrontal cortex appears to be volumetrically smaller and is hyporesponsive during symptomatic states and the performance of emotional cognitive tasks in PTSD. Medial prefrontal cortex responsivity is inversely associated with PTSD symptom severity. Lastly, the reviewed research suggests diminished volumes, neuronal integrity, and functional integrity of the hippocampus in PTSD. Remaining research questions and related future directions are presented.