Reportedly, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in the U.S. military members often follows a brain injury like concussion and the reason for that is still not clear. A research team from the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) of neurologists and psychologists stated a traumatic brain injury leads to alterations in the brain region (the amygdale); and the brain processes fear otherwise following such an injury. Michael Fanselow—Senior Author of the study at the UCLA—stated, “Is one process initiating the other we are still learning that.” During the study, two sets of rats were examined. By surgery, a brain injury like concussion was created in 19 of the rats. Approximately, 16 other rats—a normal or control group—also had the procedure but did not sustain a brain injury. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
All of the rats were then subjected to a low level of noise, accompanied by a series of restrained and brief foot shocks. Fanselow said these foot shocks were terrifying to the rats, but not very excruciating. Since the rats learned to relate the noise with the shock, they were afraid of the noise. Their blood pressure and heart rate increased; researchers also noted the stronger the memory, the more rats experience fear. Ann Hoffman—Researcher in psychology at the UCLA—said, “Sensitivity to noise is a quite normal symptom following concussion, which indicated this might partly explain why fear responses to some stimuli are augmented subsequently to brain injury.”
On a related note, recently, a study explored if hormones impede a woman’s capability to recover from PTSD. Post-traumatic stress can be a disabling disorder, hindering a person’s capability to function every day. And though researchers don’t know why, it happens twice as normally in women as in men. Scientists found links amid the amount of an estrogen hormone in a woman and her capability to effectively react to therapies for PTSD.
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