Post-traumatic stress may harm kids’ brains

December 12, 2009 § Leave a comment

from http://ritualabuse.us

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN  12/9/09 (CNN) — Psychological trauma may leave a visible trace in a child’s brain, scientists say.  A new study published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology found that children with symptoms of post-traumatic stress had poor function of the hippocampus, a part of the brain that stores and retrieves memories. This is the first study to use functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, to look at the function of the hippocampus in youth with symptoms of post-traumatic stress, researchers said. The findings are in line with what has been previously found in adults. The study was led by Dr. Victor Carrion, and the senior author was Dr. Allan Reiss, both at the Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research at Stanford University School of Medicine. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that children and adults develop in response to a traumatic event. Intrusive memories, increased anxiety and emotional arousal are some of the symptoms, and typically they begin within three months of a traumatic event, according to the Mayo Clinic.Of youths who have experienced a traumatic event, 3 percent to 15 percent of girls and 1 percent to 6 percent of boys could get a PTSD diagnosis, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. By contrast, an estimated 6.8 percent of the adult American population has had PTSD at some point, the department said. http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/12/09/ptsd.brain.kids.memory/index.html

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