Novel aspects of posttraumatic stress disorder

August 30, 2012
Novel aspects of posttraumatic stress disorder
© Thinkstock

A multivariate analysis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) performed by European researchers is expected to improve risk assessment and disease diagnosis.

PTSD refers to the anxiety disorder caused by various psychologically . It is the most common war-related psychiatric disorder occurring among combat veterans and other people exposed to war-related stress.

The objective of the EU-funded 'Psychobiology of posttraumatic stress disorder' (PBPTSD) project was to understand the characteristics, subtypes and risk factors of PTSD, aiming to improve its diagnosis and prevention.

Project partners assessed relevant psychological, biochemical, endocrinological, genetic, physiological and anthropometric parameters in various groups of male subjects. These included patients with war-zone–related PTSD, patients in remission, war-zone–exposed subjects without PTSD and healthy controls. Female subjects also participated in the psychological part of the study.

Biological measurements were made on the Hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, and included cortisol receptor and its gene polymorphism, anthropometry, , lipid status, , and sleep and dream disturbances (nightmares).

Results showed that neurocognitive functioning, self control and superior executive functioning were lower in PTSD groups. These traits seemed to define the individual resilience capacity in situations of . Furthermore, higher level of intelligence and memory functioning were the basic neurocognitive factors protecting against developing PTSD after the traumatic event. Collectively, for risk factor assessment, the PBPTSD findings suggested that personality traits and neurocognitive functioning should be measured.

Overall, the PBPTSD study unveiled novel psychological and biological variables that contribute to PTSD and could be used for efficient disease detection. Implementation of these variables for risk assessment is expected to predict the likelihood and outcome of PTSD.

Explore further: PTSD linked to increase risk in heart disease

Related Stories

PTSD linked to increase risk in heart disease

June 1, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- New research by Dr. Ramin Ebrahimi and his team from the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center was published in The American Journal of Cardiology and shows a link between post-traumatic ...

Scientists identify new gene linked to PTSD

August 7, 2012
Investigators at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System have identified a new gene linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The findings, published online in ...

Recommended for you

A walk at the mall or the park? New study shows, for moms and daughters, a walk in the park is best

November 17, 2017
Spending time together with family may help strengthen the family bond, but new research from the University of Illinois shows that specifically spending time outside in nature—even just a 20-minute walk—together can ...

Risk of distracted driving predicted by age, gender, personality and driving frequency

November 17, 2017
New research identifies age, gender, personality and how often people drive as potential risk factors for becoming distracted while driving. Young men, extroverted or neurotic people, and people who drive more often were ...

When male voles drink alcohol, but their partner doesn't, their relationship suffers

November 17, 2017
A study of the effect of alcohol on long-term relationships finds that when a male prairie vole has access to alcohol, but his female partner doesn't, the relationship suffers - similar to what has been observed in human ...

Spanking linked to increase in children's behavior problems

November 16, 2017
Children who have been spanked by their parents by age 5 show an increase in behavior problems at age 6 and age 8 relative to children who have never been spanked, according to new findings in Psychological Science, a journal ...

Multiplayer video games: Researchers discover link between skill and intelligence

November 15, 2017
Researchers at the University of York have discovered a link between young people's ability to perform well at two popular video games and high levels of intelligence.

Generous people give in a heartbeat—new study

November 15, 2017
Altruistic people are said to be "kind hearted" - and new research published in the journal Scientific Reports shows that generous people really are more in touch with their own hearts.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.