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#343672 - 10/30/10 02:22 PM PTSD and flashbacks
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Magnetic test reveals hyperactive brain network responsible for involuntary flashbacks
US scientists have found a correlation between increased circuit activity in the right side of the brain and the suffering of involuntary flashbacks by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sufferers.

Using a technique called Magnetoencephalography (MEG), which involves analysing the occurrence of magnetic charges given off when neuronal populations in our brain connect and communicate, the researchers have undertaken clinical trials to try and find differences between brain activity of PTSD sufferers and those with a clean bill of mental health.

The findings, published today, Thursday 28 October, in IOP Publishing's Journal of Neural Engineering, reveal a clear difference between the communication circuitry of sufferers and the healthy.

The trials involved 80 subjects with confirmed PTSD, many of whom suffer the affliction following military service in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, 18 subjects in PTSD remission, and 284 healthy subjects.

All participants were required to wear the MEG helmet while fixating on a spot 65 cm in front of them for 60 seconds.

The researchers from the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Minnesota, led by Apostolos P Georgopoulos and Brian Engdahl, found a difference between communication in the temporal and parieto-occipital right hemispheric areas of the brain. The temporal cortex, in accordance with earlier findings on the effects of its electrical stimulation during brain surgery, is thought to be responsible for the re-living of past experiences.

Of particular interest to the scientists however is that the brains of the sufferers were in this hyperactive state despite no immediate external stimulation, as the trial subjects were purposefully put into a 'task-free state'.

The researchers write, "Remarkably, the differences we found between the PTSD and the control groups were documented in a task-free state. Without evoking traumatic experiences, and, therefore, reflects the status of steady-state neuronal interactions."

The research is one further step in the attempt to 'biomark' PTSD, particularly as the results gathered from subjects in remission followed a similar but less pronounced pattern to those with PTSD confirmed as their primary diagnosis, in contrast to the healthy subjects.


###

This latest research was funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

From Thursday 28 October, the journal paper will be freely available to download from http://iopscience.iop.org/1741-2552/7/6/066005.


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#343712 - 10/30/10 08:16 PM Re: PTSD and flashbacks [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
catfish86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Ohio
Wow. That correlates with some other anecdotal evidence of my therapist in a different way. Her experience is that every one of her childhood trauma victims initially come to her with a diagnosis of ADHD. I asked her how many she thought actually had ADHD. She said almost none. Her theory is that the brain is so overworked trying to suppress, process and work around the trauma that other functioning, like concentration and social skills are compromised. That may literally be what is being observed.

Much of the treatment is trying to lower my level of functioning. It is interesting stuff.

_________________________
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

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#343716 - 10/30/10 09:05 PM Re: PTSD and flashbacks [Re: catfish86]
Wardpoet Offline


Registered: 10/22/10
Posts: 43
Loc: Maryland
So now I could have been tested before starting on Meds then retested now to see if I'm fixed. Guess I'll have to quit my treatment for ptsd to find out for sure if I have it.Feels like I have it.Daggone article seemed to say that in remission there is still a signature for ptsd detected. Interesting. Don't worry I'm not stopping meds without being told to by my Psyciatrist And by my therapist.For those of you hiding Ptsd we can tell. Could have learned I had it years ago if this test were available. Thanks for info.


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#343732 - 10/31/10 12:18 AM Re: PTSD and flashbacks [Re: Wardpoet]
catfish86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Ohio
I know for me it would be a confirmation that what I am going through is real. I know that is hard to understand but I suppressed memories for 30+ years and all of a sudden they start up like a stereo setup as an alarm in full living technicolor with sights, sounds, touch, smell and taste, much of it completely unwanted. I really wanted to believe it wasn't happening. I really hope that many of the advances in studying the brain will help us learn to undo much of the damage done.

I had told people for years that my Uncle had done nothing other than try to keep us at the farm because that is what I remembered and believed. Such tests would help me gain a sense of reality about what happened.

_________________________
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

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#344060 - 11/04/10 01:35 AM Re: PTSD and flashbacks [Re: catfish86]
john38 Offline


Registered: 10/21/10
Posts: 90
Loc: Pasadena CA
Yah, PTSD flashbacks aren't fun. I think that the constant state of hypervigilence that so many of us survivors have may contribute to this hyperactive brain state, or perhaps it's a part of it.

On a related note, a book that's been invaluable to me in my recovery from abuse is called BETRAYAL BONDS. It's about how PTSD plays out around different relationship dynamics, has an incredible inventory in it and is written by a man who has been counseling abuse survivors for years. The book helped me to discover many of my PTSD triggers, and provided a lot of insight into how to work with my various alters (I have DID too) when they get triggered. I can't recommend the book highly enough.

John+

_________________________
Just for today I will treat myself with respect, compassion and acceptance.

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