A study conducted by UCLA life scientists, and found in the academic journal
Biological Psychiatry, reveals a causal link between
traumatic brain injury (TBI) and an increased vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD). It also suggests that those who suffer from brain injuries should
take precautions to avoid stressful situations which could exacerbate
their health condition.
The study itself was inspired by an observed connection between TBI and
PTSD, specifically in military veterans who have returned from campaigns
in Afghanistan and Iraq. The question the scientists asked was whether
the events which resulted in the initial brain injury were traumatic enough
to cause PTSD, of it the disorders could be linked in a “more mechanistic
Scientists conducted various procedures on rats to test the hypothesis,
separating their physical and emotional traumas. The scientists used fear
conditioning techniques two days after the rats experienced concussive
brain traumas. In conclusion, the rats who had suffered TBIs were more
prone to fear than those rats who had not received prior injuries.
In order to examine the reason for this, researchers analyzed a small piece
of brain tissue known as the “amygdala,” which is the part
of the brain where fear is learned. There are substantially more receptors
for excitatory neurotransmitters which promote learning in the part of
the brain. The findings suggest that TBIs leave the amygdala in a more
vulnerable state to acquire fear.
The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the UCLA
Brain Injury Center.
If you suffered a brain injury due to the negligent actions of another
party in Florida, schedule a
free consultation with our Orlando personal injury attorney at The Maher Law Firm today.