PTSD Linked To Smaller Part Of Brain

Nov 6, 2012

Post traumatic stress disorder may be linked to a smaller brain area regulating fear and anxiety response. That's the finding of a new study from researchers at Duke. Psychiatry professor Raj Morey works at Duke and the Durham VA. He's the lead author of the study. Morey says in 200 recent combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, a region of the brain called the amygdala was smaller in those suffering from PTSD. That could mean soldiers with smaller amygdalas are more vulnerable to the disorder.

Raj Morey: Amygdala volume would not be the only explanation for a vulnerability. There would probably be a whole host of factors that would constitute a vulnerability. I think this is just one piece of that puzzle that we will try to create to kind of define what are all the factors that constitute a vulnerability.

Morey says eventually, a knowledge of all those factors could make it possible to target treatment more effectively.