Current concepts - Post-traumatic stress disorder

Division of Traumatic Stress Studies and Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center, New York 10468, USA.
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 54.42). 02/2002; 346(2):108-14. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra012941
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: The identification of biomarkers for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and resilience/recovery is critical for advancing knowledge about pathophysiology and treatment in trauma-exposed persons. This study examined a series of glucocorticoid-related biomarkers prior to and in response to psychotherapy. Fifty-two male and female veterans with PTSD were randomized 2 : 1 to receive either prolonged exposure (PE) therapy or a weekly minimal attention (MA) intervention for 12 consecutive weeks. Psychological and biological assessments were obtained prior to and following treatment and after a 12-week naturalistic follow-up. Response was defined dichotomously as no longer meeting criteria for PTSD at post-treatment based on the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-IV (CAPS). Clinical improvement on the CAPS was apparent for both PE and MA, with no significant difference according to treatment condition. Biomarkers predictive of treatment gains included the BCLI polymorphism of the glucocorticoid receptor gene. Additional predictors of treatment response were higher bedtime salivary cortisol and 24 h urinary cortisol excretion. Pre-treatment plasma dehydroepiandrosterone/cortisol ratio and neuropetide Y (NPY) levels were predictors of reductions in PTSD symptoms, and, for NPY only, of other secondary outcomes as well, including anxiety and depression ratings. Glucocorticoid sensitivity changed in association with symptom change, reflecting clinical state. It is possible to distinguish prognostic and state biomarkers of PTSD using a longitudinal approach in the context of treatment. Identified markers may also be relevant to understanding mechanisms of action of symptom reduction.
    Interface focus: a theme supplement of Journal of the Royal Society interface 10/2014; 4(5):20140048. DOI:10.1098/rsfs.2014.0048 · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) has currently become the standard treatment for preventing sudden cardiac death. There are some psychological consequences in patients with ICD such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the shocks induced by ICD. This report aimed to present the case of a 54-year-old man with ICD who had developed PTSD; his PTSD was treated, using cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy consisting of relaxation, mindfulness and problem solving techniques. In patients with ICD who are experiencing PTSD using cognitive behavioral interventions may be helpful to reduce their psychological sufferings.
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    ABSTRACT: Stress-especially chronic, uncontrollable stress-is an important risk factor for many neuropsychiatric disorders. The underlying mechanisms are complex and multifactorial, but they involve correlated changes in structural and functional measures of neuronal connectivity within cortical microcircuits and across neuroanatomically distributed brain networks. Here, we review evidence from animal models and human neuroimaging studies implicating stress-associated changes in functional connectivity in the pathogenesis of PTSD, depression, and other neuropsychiatric conditions. Changes in fMRI measures of corticocortical connectivity across distributed networks may be caused by specific structural alterations that have been observed in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and other vulnerable brain regions. These effects are mediated in part by glucocorticoids, which are released from the adrenal gland in response to a stressor and also oscillate in synchrony with diurnal rhythms. Recent work indicates that circadian glucocorticoid oscillations act to balance synapse formation and pruning after learning and during development, and chronic stress disrupts this balance. We conclude by considering how disrupted glucocorticoid oscillations may contribute to the pathophysiology of depression and PTSD in vulnerable individuals, and how circadian rhythm disturbances may affect non-psychiatric populations, including frequent travelers, shift workers, and patients undergoing treatment for autoimmune disorders.


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