Neuropsychology of PTSD: Biological, Cognitive, and Clinical Perspectives

Neuropsychology of PTSD: Biological, Cognitive, and Clinical Perspectives

Neuropsychology of PTSD: Biological, Cognitive, and Clinical Perspectives

Neuropsychology of PTSD: Biological, Cognitive, and Clinical Perspectives

Synopsis

"The emotional and behavioral symptoms associated with PTSD have been widely studied, but until recently, much less was known about neuropsychological aspects of the disorder. This volume brings together leading experts to synthesize current knowledge on how trauma affects the brain. Integrating compelling insights from neurobiology with clinical and cognitive perspectives, the book presents cutting-edge theoretical advances with major implications for assessment and treatment. Clearly written and well documented, the volume explores the emergence of neuropsychological dysfunction in specific trauma populations: children, adults, older adults, and victims of closed-head injury. Coverage encompasses a range of chronic problems with memory, attention, and information processing, including biases in the ways that PTSD sufferers attend to and remember emotionally relevant information, as well as how they encode and retrieve trauma-related memories. Throughout, authors back up their arguments with salient empirical research, highlighting key findings from functional neuroimaging and electrophysiology. Methodological dilemmas and controversies are also addressed, such as the challenges of studying a disorder with frequent psychiatric and medical comorbidities. Timely and authoritative, this comprehensive work provides vital knowledge for trauma specialists and other researchers and clinicians, including neuropsychologists, clinical psychologists, and psychiatrists. It will also be of interest to advanced students in these areas." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

The diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) first appeared as a formal diagnostic category in 1980, largely as a consequence of the Vietnam War and the large numbers of military veterans who sought assistance for stress-related symptoms. However, as described in Chapter 1, exposure to psychologically traumatic events has been part and parcel of the human experience since long before the Vietnam War and extends beyond combat experiences to such events as natural disasters, sexual assault, physical assault, life-threatening accidents, childhood neglect and abuse, domestic violence, politically motivated mass violence, and terrorist acts. Research conducted mainly in the last 20 years has highlighted the vast breadth of negative consequences that may arise and endure in response to traumatic stress exposure. It has become increasingly apparent that, in addition to emotional and behavioral symptoms, PTSD is associated with significant abnormalities in neurobiological systems and cognitive processes. As detailed in this volume, such abnormalities may have profound psychosocial consequences and direct implications for treatment.

To our knowledge, this is the first volume to provide a comprehensive examination of the neuropsychology of PTSD. We attempt to provide an integrative and balanced summary of neuropsychological research relevant to PTSD, drawing from a number of related research areas. Recent advances in functional neuroimaging have led to increased integration of biological, cognitive, and clinical approaches across neuropsychiatric disorders. Reflecting the importance of synthesizing these approaches, we adopted a broad view of neuropsychology to include relevant findings from animal research and biological challenge paradigms, electrophysiological methods, functional activation studies, experimental studies of cognition and information processing, and descriptive neuropsychological methods. This approach is reflected not only in the selection of chapter topics, but . . .

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