Event Title

Effects of PTSD on subcortical volumes

Presenter Information

Madeline Kallenbach

Mentor 1

Dr. Larson

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

27-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

The study at hand is a longitudinal one which observes individuals who have gone through a traumatic incident throughout a two-year period. Questionnaires are administered after the initial accident, two weeks after, and every three months after in order to see whether or not post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in these individuals. In addition to this, cortisol levels are measured and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is taken to compare those who develop PTSD symptoms and those who do not. The main focus in cortical areas is to see the effects of the symptoms on the amygdala and hippocampus.

The amygdala is found to regulate emotions in a typically functioning brain and has been found to be the central subcortical structure in those experiencing PTSD symptoms due to the fear learning responses they experience (Brown, 2013). The hippocampus is involved with memory recall as well as memory formation which is a recurring symptom in those with the disorder.

There are few longitudinal studies on the changing cortical structures from a traumatic event. One study (non-longitudinal) observed the effects of bipolar disorder on children’s amygdala and hippocampus. This study focused on the cortical areas of the control “healthy children” compared to those with bipolar disorder, some with trauma and others without. Those who experienced trauma were found to have smaller amygdala and hippocampus volume.

By studying individuals long-term and using questionnaires alongside MRI, it is hoped we can find how the amygdala and hippocampus are affected in those who suffer a traumatic accident.

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Apr 27th, 1:00 PM

Effects of PTSD on subcortical volumes

Union Wisconsin Room

The study at hand is a longitudinal one which observes individuals who have gone through a traumatic incident throughout a two-year period. Questionnaires are administered after the initial accident, two weeks after, and every three months after in order to see whether or not post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in these individuals. In addition to this, cortisol levels are measured and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is taken to compare those who develop PTSD symptoms and those who do not. The main focus in cortical areas is to see the effects of the symptoms on the amygdala and hippocampus.

The amygdala is found to regulate emotions in a typically functioning brain and has been found to be the central subcortical structure in those experiencing PTSD symptoms due to the fear learning responses they experience (Brown, 2013). The hippocampus is involved with memory recall as well as memory formation which is a recurring symptom in those with the disorder.

There are few longitudinal studies on the changing cortical structures from a traumatic event. One study (non-longitudinal) observed the effects of bipolar disorder on children’s amygdala and hippocampus. This study focused on the cortical areas of the control “healthy children” compared to those with bipolar disorder, some with trauma and others without. Those who experienced trauma were found to have smaller amygdala and hippocampus volume.

By studying individuals long-term and using questionnaires alongside MRI, it is hoped we can find how the amygdala and hippocampus are affected in those who suffer a traumatic accident.