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Author Notes:

E-mail: jdbremn@emory.edu



  • Animals
  • Brain
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Spouse Abuse
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Wounds and Injuries

Traumatic stress: Effects on the brain


Journal Title:

Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience


Volume 8, Number 4


, Pages 445-461

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Brain areas implicated in the stress response include the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. Traumatic stress can be associated with lasting changes in these brain areas. Traumatic stress is associated with increased cortisol and norepinephrine responses to subsequent stressors. Antidepressants have effects on the hippocampus that counteract the effects of stress. Findings from animal studies have been extended to patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) showing smaller hippocampal and anterior cingulate volumes, increased amygdala function, and decreased medial prefrontal/anterior cingulate function. In addition, patients with PTSD show increased cortisol and norepinephrine responses to stress. Treatments that are efficacious for PTSD show a promotion of neurogenesis in animal studies, as well as promotion of memory and increased hippocampal volume in PTSD.

Copyright information:

© 2006 LLS SAS. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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