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Rumours: PTSD

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January 13, 2011

01:50

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With the recent incident of gun violence in Tucson, Arizona, t's important not to forget the long-term impact such events have on the survivors of such tragedies.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, as it was coined in the 1970's, is not a new phenomenon. In the past, it was known as shell shock, or battle fatigue. As far back as the 6th century B.C., the Greek historian Herodotus wrote of a soldier who suffered no wounds but went blind from merely witnessing the death of another soldier. In the 1800's, prim-and-proper Victorians diagnosed it simply as "exhaustion."

And still the stigma remains. Shake it off…get some rest. Even now, in our continual state of war, not everyone seems convinced that PTSD is a real, detectable neurophysiological phenomenon.

But in 2010, researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis VA Medical Centre visualized and measured PTSD for the very first time. How did they do it, and what could it mean for PTSD patients?

Science in Seconds investigates.

Host: Rheanna Sand

Photo Credits: Wikimedia users Andrew Crump, Toushiro, Marie-Lan Nguyen, Rungbachduong, Katie Youngpeter; ScienceDaily; Townsend Letter; zingerbug.com.

References:
doi:10.1088/1741-2560/7/1/016011
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100120083745.htm
http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/01/21/biomarker-for-ptsd-discovered/10878.html
http://www.minneapolis.va.gov/

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