Two recent studies have discovered that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is actually a chemical change in the brain brought on by trauma. The studies also found, in addition to the new evidence, that PTSD might be identified through brain scans or blood tests, aiding in the diagnosis, treatment and susceptibility.
Researchers have already been aware that people suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder show differences in their neurosteroids (brain chemicals that are a factor in how the body reacts to stress), but the new studies uncovered additional evidence.
One of the studies found that veterans suffering from PTSD and other conditions, such as depression, alcohol abuse, substance abuse or suicidal ideation, had different imaging results from CT scans than people who had only been diagnosed with PTSD. According to Alexander Neumeister of Yale University School of Medicine, the findings of this study are very important in the treatment of PTSD.
The differences researchers discovered "can have huge implications for treatment," said Neumeister. He also said, "once veterans see this is a neurobiological disorder in which their brain acts differently in terms of circuitry and chemical function, oftentimes it motivates them to seek treatment."
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