Document Detail

Clarifying the origin of biological abnormalities in PTSD through the study of identical twins discordant for combat exposure.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16891575     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A biological abnormality found to be associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be, among other things, a pretrauma vulnerability factor, that is, it may have been present prior to the event's occurrence and increased the individual's likelihood of developing PTSD upon traumatic exposure. Alternately, it may be an acquired PTSD sign, that is, it may have developed after the traumatic exposure, along with the PTSD. We have studied pairs of Vietnam combat veterans and their noncombat-exposed, identical twins in an effort to resolve these competing origins. Combat veterans were diagnosed as current PTSD or non-PTSD (i.e., never had). Average heart rate responses (HRRs) to a series of sudden, loud-tone presentations were larger in Vietnam combat veteran twins with PTSD, but these larger responses were not shared by their noncombat-exposed cotwins, whose responses were similar to those of the non-PTSD combat veterans and their noncombat-exposed cotwins. These results suggest that larger HRRs to sudden, loud tones represent an acquired sign of PTSD. In contrast, increased neurological soft signs (NSSs), diminished hippocampal volume, and presence of abnormal cavum septum pellucidum (CSP) were found in Vietnam combat veteran twins with PTSD and their "high-risk," unexposed cotwins compared to Vietnam combat veteran twins without PTSD and their "low-risk," unexposed cotwins. These results support the conclusion that the latter abnormalities represent antecedent, familial vulnerability factors for developing chronic PTSD upon exposure to a traumatic event.
Roger K Pitman; Mark W Gilbertson; Tamara V Gurvits; Flavia S May; Natasha B Lasko; Linda J Metzger; Martha E Shenton; Rachel Yehuda; Scott P Orr;
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Twin Study    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences     Volume:  1071     ISSN:  0077-8923     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci.     Publication Date:  2006 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-08-07     Completed Date:  2006-09-20     Revised Date:  2014-09-05    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7506858     Medline TA:  Ann N Y Acad Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  242-54     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Acoustic Stimulation
Amygdala / pathology
Biological Markers
Combat Disorders / physiopathology*,  psychology
Heart Rate / physiology
Hippocampus / pathology
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Prospective Studies
Septum Pellucidum / pathology
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / physiopathology*,  psychology
Twins / psychology*
Veterans / psychology
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Biological Markers

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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