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Research on PTSD aims to find the biological, psychological, and environmental factors that appear to play a causal role in the development of the disorder and to understand the ways in which people with PTSD respond differently to events than do people without the disorder. We know that some people who experience a traumatic event develop PTSD while others are able to “put the event behind them.” Therefore, research often compares responses to stimuli that act as trauma reminders in people with and without PTSD. These responses may be brain changes, changes in other biological factors such as levels of particular chemicals in the body, or differences in the ability to perform tasks that require memory or concentration either during or after experiencing a reminder of a trauma.

Even though our knowledge of the causes and the physiological changes that contribute to PTSD is still incomplete, there are treatments available for the disorder and some research looks at the effects of different types of treatment in order to see how effective they are. Such research may compare different drugs, or psychological therapies, and it may also be combined with the research described above in order to help us to better understand how the treatments work. In summary, research on PTSD, like research on other medical conditions, spans a wide range of approaches and techniques. Together, these diverse areas of research will give us a better understanding of the “whole picture” of this disorder. Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD, FRCPC


Traumatic Dissociation: Neurobiology and Treatment

By Eric Vermetten, American Psychiatric Press

In this impressive volume of traumatic dissociation, Drs. Vermetten, Dorahy, and Spiegel have assembled contributions by leading authorities on theoretical models, neurobiology, and treatment.  The book provides a road map to the long and complex history of the field of traumatic dissociation as well as a balance and lively dialogue on controversies in etiology and classification.

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Click Here to Open the Google Books Link 


The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease - The Hidden Epidemic

Edited by: Ruth A. Lanius, University of Western Ontario, Eric Vermetten, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands, and Clare Pain, University of Toronto

There is now ample evidence from the preclinical and clinical fields that early life trauma has both dramatic and long-lasting effects on neurobiological systems and functions that are involved in different forms of psychopathology as well as on health in general.   This reference contains:

• The most comprehensive summary of recent and accumulated evidence for the impact of early life trauma
• An essential psychiatry text, written by internationally recognized experts and opinion leaders
• Covers an increasingly important and previously neglected area of psychopathology

Reference Link:

Click Here to Read the Cambridge Article Link

PTSD Sufferers Store Memories In Different Part of Brain

By Alison McCook

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) appear to store traumatic memories in a different part of their brains than others, a brain study shows. The finding may explain why PTSD sufferers can be haunted by those memories for years on end.

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Longitudinal Study Summary (August 2005)

Penelope Trickett, PhD, Chief PI, with collaborators Frank Putnam, MD, and Jennie Noll, PhD

Findings from this longitudinal study have provided some of the most definitive evidence for the unique ways in which childhood sexual abuse impacts on the bio-psych-social development of females across distinct developmental stages. Approximately 40 peer-reviewed journal articles have been generated from this longitudinal study reporting on a host of behavioral, psychological, and physiological effects in both childhood and adolescence.

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The Body Keeps The Score:
Memory & the Evolving Psychobiology of Post Traumatic Stress
, by Bessel van der Kolk

... Interestingly, people who previously met criteria for PTSD, but no longer do so now, continue to show failure of habituation of the ASR ...

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Cushioning Hard Memories
By Catherine Dupree

The more you love a memory,” Vladimir Nabokov once declared, “the stronger and stranger it is.” Certainly we never forget the details of our beloved moments: first kisses, college graduations, our children’s births. “That kind of thing,” said Nabokov, “is absolutely permanent, immortal.” But some ineradicable memories are of things we desperately want to forget.

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The Body Can Change the Score: Empirical Support for Somatic Regulation in the Treatment of Traumatized Adolescents
by Elizabeth Warner, Spinazolla, Westcott, et al.

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