Alterations in synapses may help explain how memories form and why certain types of memories are stronger than others.
Chronic stress accelerates the body's epigenetic clock, however, those that can manage the effects of stress by strengthening their emotional regulation and self-control can slow the process.
Complex PTSD (c-PTSD) occurs as a result of exposure to repeated and prolonged trauma, and affects up to 7.3% of the population. Researchers discuss how c-PTSD differs from PTSD, and provide insight on how the disorder can be treated.
Virtual reality is helping researchers uncover some of the secrets of anxiety. Using VR, study participants were able to distinguish between safe and dangerous environments in a game. However, brain scans of those with anxiety showed increased activity in the insula and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex while in a safe zone, indicating their brains were associating the safe environment with threat or danger.
The severity of PTSD symptoms was associated with fewer risky choices and increased activation of the amygdala. Decreased activity in the ventral striatum, an area of the brain associated with processing positive valence such as reward, predicted more severe PTSD symptoms 14 months post trauma.
The menstrual cycle may affect how PTSD symptoms are expressed and the severity of symptoms. Researchers found PTSD symptoms were elevated during the first days of the cycle when estradiol levels were low, and fewer symptoms were experienced closer to ovulation.
People who experienced sexual abuse or suffer from PTSD have reduced connectivity in the ventral and dorsal attention network (VAN-DAN network) compared to those with no history of abuse or PTSD.
Study finds a link between post-traumatic brain activity and an increase in anxiety symptoms six months after a traumatic event.
Researchers have identified a neural circuit that regulates threat response in mice.