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Clinical Science Brown bag Series

Tuesday, March 21, 2017,
  • Location: Wilson Hall
  • Room: 316

Matt Morris

Family & Community Medicine

MeHarry Medical College


Wilson Hall Room 316

“Neurobiology of Emerging PTSD”

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) offers promise for prevention because, unlike other mental disorders, it is anchored to a clearly-defined onset – a traumatic life event. Most trauma-exposed individuals experience transitory posttraumatic stress symptoms that remit without need for treatment. For a sizable minority, however, these symptoms will develop into full-blown PTSD. Even with evidence-based treatment, posttraumatic stress symptoms persist in 30-50% of individuals, highlighting the importance of secondary prevention programs.  Unfortunately, early risk markers for PTSD remain poorly understood. Alterations of stress response systems including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) have been strongly implicated in the pathophysiology of PTSD and may play a role in the development of PTSD following trauma exposure. This presentation will outline neurobiological models of PTSD, review evidence for early HPA and SNS risk markers, and highlight directions for future research.