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Science News About Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A Shorter—but Effective—Treatment for PTSD

Science Update

Research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health has shown that a shorter therapy (written exposure therapy) may be just as effective as lengthier first-line treatments for PTSD.

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Brain’s Alertness Circuitry Conserved Through Evolution

Press Release

Using a molecular method likely to become widely adopted by the field, researchers have discovered brain circuitry essential for alertness – and for brain states more generally.

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Imaging Pinpoints Brain Circuits Changed by PTSD Therapy

Science Update

Using brain imaging to track the effects of treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), scientists have identified a brain circuit on which a frequently used and effective psychotherapy (prolonged exposure) acts to quell symptoms. The findings help explain why the neural circuit identified is a promising target for additional treatment development, including brain stimulation therapies.

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NIMH-Funded Study to Track the Effects of Trauma

Science Update

By carefully tracking 5,000 people after they have experienced a traumatic event, a just-launched NIMH-funded study aims to provide a finely detailed map of the array of factors that play a role in the development of mental disorders that occur in the wake of trauma.

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Attention-Control Video Game Curbs Combat Vets’ PTSD Symptoms

Science Update

A video game that implicitly taught combat vets that threatening stimuli are irrelevant to performing their task reduced their PTSD symptoms.

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Girls Thrive Emotionally, Boys Falter After Move to Better Neighborhood

Science Update

Girls in public housing benefited emotionally from a move to a better neighborhood while boys fared worse than if they’d stayed in the poor neighborhood. Rates of depression and conduct disorder markedly increased in boys and decreased in girls. Boys also experienced significantly increased rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complicating housing policy decision-making.

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