Risk of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depression in Civilian Patients After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A TRACK-TBI Study. | Traumatic Brain Injury | JAMA Psychiatry | JAMA NetworkParticipants were 1155 patients (752 men [65.1%]; mean [SD] age, 40.5 [17.2] years) with mTBI and 230 patients (155 men [67.4%]; mean [SD] age, 40.4 [15.6] years) with nonhead orthopedic trauma injuries. Weights-adjusted prevalence of PTSD and/or MDD in the mTBI vs orthopedic trauma comparison groups at 3 months was 20.0% (SE, 1.4%) vs 8.7% (SE, 2.2%) (P < .001) and at 6 months was 21.2% (SE, 1.5%) vs 12.1% (SE, 3.2%) (P = .03). Risk factors for probable PTSD at 6 months after mTBI included less education (adjusted odds ratio, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.82-0.97 per year), being black (adjusted odds ratio, 5.11; 95% CI, 2.89-9.05), self-reported psychiatric history (adjusted odds ratio, 3.57; 95% CI, 2.09-6.09), and injury resulting from assault or other violence (adjusted odds ratio, 3.43; 95% CI, 1.56-7.54).
Stimulating the vagus nerve in the neck might help ease pain associated with PTSD -- ScienceDailyLerman especially wants to know how the emotional pain experience may be influenced by the vagus nerve, which runs down both sides of our necks from the brainstem to the abdomen. The vagus nerve also plays a critical role in maintaining heart rate, breathing rate, digestive tract movement and many other basic body functions. In a study published February 13, 2019 in PLOS ONE, Lerman and colleagues tested noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation as a method for dampening the sensation of pain. "It's thought that people with certain differences in how their bodies -- their autonomic and sympathetic nervous systems -- process pain may be more susceptible to PTSD," Lerman said. "And so we wanted to know if we might be able to re-write this 'mis-firing' as a means to manage pain, especially for people with PTSD." Lerman led the study with Alan N. Simmons, PhD, director of the fMRI Research Laboratory at Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System and associate professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
The military’s obsession with energy drinks is contributing to PTSD, study findsWhat the authors found was that over the course of the month leading up to the survey, more than 75 percent of soldiers consumed energy drinks. More surprising, however, was that 16 percent “of soldiers in this study reported continuing to consume two or more energy drinks per day in the post-deployment period," the authors wrote. High energy drink use, which was classified as consuming two or more drinks per day, was significantly associated with those survey respondents who reported mental health problems, anger-related behaviors and fatigue, the authors found. Those consuming less than one energy drink per week reported these symptoms at a significantly lower rate.
The Neuroscientific Case for Facing Your Fears – The Atlantic – MediumWhen someone encounters a new experience — say, a terrifying rabbit — groups of neurons in their brain fire together, the connections between them become stronger, and molecules accumulate at the places where neurons meet. Many scientists believe that these preserved patterns of strengthened connections are the literal stuff of memories — the physical representations of the things we remember. These connected neuron groups are called engrams. When people bring up old memories, the engram neurons fire up again. They also enter a brief period of instability, when the molecules that preserved the connections between them disappear and must be remade. This process, known as reconsolidation, means that humans are partly reconstructing our memories every time they bring them to mind. And it means that the act of recollection creates a window of time in which memories can be updated, and fears can be unlearned.
What's in a name? Researchers track PTSD's many identities during war -- ScienceDailyThe paper revealed that PTSD symptoms were known as shell shock during World War I, and irritable heart or soldier's heart during World War II. The term gross stress reaction was introduced in the first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in 1952, but was omitted in a second edition in 1968 during the Vietnam War. It wasn't until 1980, with the publication of the manual's third edition, that the term PTSD was introduced to describe military trauma and non-war related factors, such as sexual abuse. "PTSD has existed forever," Chekroud said. "It's just a question of what we've been calling it." Chadi Abdallah, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale and the editor of Chronic Stress, said the history of disjointed terminology resulted in a 60-year delay in understanding traumatic symptoms experienced by veterans and others.
Orange essential oil may help alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder: Researchers find evidence that essential oil reduces fear, diminishes immune system markers of stress in mice -- ScienceDailyTwelve mice received the tone by itself, 12 mice received water and fear conditioning, and 12 mice received an orange essential oil and fear conditioning. Mice exposed to orange essential oil by passive inhalation showed a significant reduction in freezing behavior and stopped freezing earlier than the water-exposed, fear-conditioned mice. They also showed significant differences in the types of immune cells present after fear conditioning. The immune system contributes to the inflammation associated with chronic stress and fear, so immune cells are a marker of the biochemical pathways involved in PTSD.
REM and PTSDFor example, we know in PTSD, which is perhaps one of the quintessential psychiatric conditions of dysfunctional emotional memory processing, there you see profound disruptions of sleep, including REM sleep. And by trying to ameliorate(ph) or restore that REM sleep, recent findings have demonstrated benefits in terms of clinical PTSD outcome.
Parents of children with serious heart defects may be at risk of PTSD -- ScienceDailyHealth professionals know that mental health issues in parents can lead to long-term cognitive, health and behavioral troubles in their children. Researchers reviewed published data from 10 countries. Among parents of children with critical congenital heart defects, researchers found: Up to 30 percent had symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of PTSD, with more than 80 percent showing significant symptoms of trauma; 25 percent to 50 percent reported elevated symptoms of depression, anxiety or both; and 30 percent to 80 percent reported experiencing severe psychological distress; In comparison, the prevalence of PTSD in the U.S. general population is 3.5 percent, with 18 percent meeting criteria for any anxiety disorder in the last year, and 9.5 percent meeting criteria for any mood disorder.
Online Friendships Can't Replace In-Person Connection -- Science of UsIn researching his book Tribe, Sebastian Junger found that “lack of social support is twice as reliable at predicting PTSD [posttraumatic stress disorder] as the severity of the trauma [one experiences] itself.”
When alcohol or drugs are used to manage PTSD symptoms, the symptoms of the disorder only become more severe. As a central nervous system depressant, alcohol can worsen depression and anxiety and interfere with normal sleep patterns.
For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be the most effective treatment for PTSD and has the fewest side-effects, yet many psychologists do not use this method. Baker and colleagues cite one study in which only 30 percent of psychologists were trained to perform CBT for PTSD and only half of those psychologists elected to use it. That means that six of every seven sufferers were not getting the best care available from their clinicians. Furthermore, CBT shows both long-term and immediate benefits as a treatment for PTSD; whereas medications such as Paxil have shown 25 to 50 percent relapse rates.