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Research Connects PTSD to Smaller Parts of the Brain

Studies from Duke University and the Durham VA Medical Center have discovered that veterans dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a significantly decreased volume in the amygdala, the part of the brain that determines fear and anxiety.

Research performed on animals has shed light on the amygdala’s influence on fear, stress and anxiety, but the effect of this part of the brain on human emotions is still being explored.

Experts examined the structural damage to the amygdala in individuals with PTSD in an effort to better comprehend the effect the amygdala has on processing these emotions. About 200 combat veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were studied, half of which suffered from PTSD, and the other half were injured in combat but did not exhibit signs of PTSD.

Researchers determined that the amygdalas (both left and right) in individuals who suffered from PTSD measured much smaller. This study also confirmed a link between PTSD and the smaller volume of a different part of the brain called the hippocampus. But ultimately, researchers were unable to confirm whether the smaller size of these parts of the brain was the effect of physical trauma or other factors.

If you are a veteran suffering from PTSD or another disabling condition connected to your service, the experienced veterans benefits lawyers of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, can help. To discuss your case in a free initial consultation, you can call toll-free 877-526-3455 or use our online contact form.

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