PTSD Statistics and Brain Chemistry
Female victims are especially likely to develop PTSD following rape or other forms of sexual assault. Combat exposure is the the most common cause of PTSD in men in the United States.
A major disaster or traumatic event can cause PTSD on a large scale. For example, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, almost 8% of New Yorkers who lived in the general area of disaster were suffering from PTSD. The disorder is most likely to develop among people who have the least social support, and who fail to allow themselves to find a new way of eventually understanding what happened to them.
Studies employing positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have shown that people with symptoms of PTSD have altered activity in the brain, primarily in the regions of the medial prefrontal cortex, thalamus, and anterior cingulate gyrus. This altered activity reinforces the brain’s ability to recall specific traumatic memories, thereby making it difficult for people with PTSD to break the pattern of negative memory recall.
A test known as synchronous neural interaction (SNI) can effectively distinguish between the patterns of abnormal brain activity seen in persons with PTSD and the patterns of typical brain activity observed in healthy persons.
Roughly 13% of people with PTSD have increased levels of a kinase (a type of regulatory enzyme) called CDK5 (cyclin-dependent kinase 5). Normally, CDK5 works with other proteins in nerve cells to regulate brain development, and its absence facilitates the elimination of memories associated with fear. In people with PTSD, the elevated levels of CDK5 interferes with and prevent fear-extinction and delay the ability to control emotional states and reactions when a traumatic memory is remembered.
At Refresh Recovery PTSD treatment San Diego we believe that following a traumatic event can be reduced by early mental health and psychological interventions that encourage a sharing of emotional experiences concerning the event as well as optional medication assisted treatment if required. We’re here to help and understand how overwhelming it can be as well as trust required to begin stepping towards healing.