Academic journal article European Journal of Psychotraumatology

The Neurobiology of PTSD

Academic journal article European Journal of Psychotraumatology

The Neurobiology of PTSD

Article excerpt

The European Journal of Psychotraumatology is proud to announce its first special issue focusing on the neurobiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Since its inception, the journal has published a number of papers on the neural mechanisms underlying PTSD, including review articles on the biological correlates of complex PTSD (Marinova & Maercker, 2015), restoring large scale brain networks in PTSD and related disorders (Lanius, Frewen, Tursich, Jetly, & McKinnon, 2015), and pharmacological treatments and their neurobiological underpinnings (Kelmendi et al., 2016). In addition, methodological considerations when investigating epigenetic consequences of early life adversity have been outlined (Fiori & Turecki, 2016). Finally, an article calling for clinical, treatment, and neuroscience research in the area of trauma-related dissociation and altered states of consciousness was published as part of a special issue focusing on setting the research agenda in PTSD and its underlying neurobiology (Lanius, 2015). Few open access journals publish neurobiological research, while we do feel very strongly about also making this type of research publicly available without any barriers of paid access.

The current special issue includes both review articles and original research papers. The first review article stresses the importance of being aware of cultural differences in self-representation and their effects on the neural correlates of PTSD (Liddell & Jobson, 2016). The authors outline five important affective and cognitive functions critical to PTSD, including fear dysregulation, attentional biases to threat, emotion and autobiographical memory, selfreferential processing, and attachment and interpersonal functioning and describe how these functions and their neural correlates can be influenced by cultural differences in self-representation. The review concludes with a conceptual model emphasizing how the five affective and cognitive functions described above are crucial to how culture may inform the neural correlates underlying traumarelated disorders (Liddell & Jobson, 2016). The second review summarizes the neurobiological and neuroendocrine correlates underlying individuals with PTSD who continue to face ongoing threat and stresses the need to distinguish neuroendocrine findings in individuals facing ongoing threat versus those who do not (Fragkaki, Thomaes, & Sijbrandij, 2016). …

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