Neurobiology of posttraumatic stress disorder.

Christine Heim, Charles B. Nemeroff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

217 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exposure to a traumatic event is required for the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The symptoms of PTSD are believed to reflect stress-induced changes in neurobiological systems and/or an inadequate adaptation of neurobiological systems to exposure to severe stressors. More recently, there have been attempts to link the identified neurobiological changes to the specific features that constitute PTSD, such as altered mechanisms of learning and extinction, sensitization to stress, and arousal. Furthermore, there have been efforts to understand whether certain neurobiological changes in PTSD reflect preexisting vulnerability factors rather than consequences of trauma exposure or correlates of PTSD. Genetic variability, sex differences, and developmental exposures to stress influence neurobiological systems and moderate PTSD risk. On the basis of these findings, important hypotheses for developing novel strategies to identify subjects at risk, promote resilience, and devise targets for the prevention or treatment of PTSD can be derived.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
JournalCNS spectrums
Volume14
Issue number1 Suppl 1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Neurobiology of posttraumatic stress disorder.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this