PTSD immunization on the brink of discovery


There are a number of areas of the brain which are known to be affected by traumatic events or experiences. There are both chemical and physical changes that can be seen that occur in some people who have been exposed to trauma and subsequently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety and is the only mental condition that is said to be triggered by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, warfare and severe physical or sexual abuse.

Researchers are working with Israel Defence Forces in an attempt find a way of preventing the structural and functional change that happens in certain parts of the brain in response to a traumatic event, in this case combat experiences.

It is known that there are two major regions of the brain that are involved in PTSD. The amygdala and the hypothalamus. The researchers are targeting these areas and using specialist software to show individuals their brain waves in these particular regions in order that they are able to train themselves to alter them. This technique is known as ‘NeuroFeeedBack’, rather than a treatment for PTSD, it is believed this could act as an inoculation for the stress and trauma they will undoubtedly face in their military careers.