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Evidence for PTSD as a Systemic Disorder

  • Avram BukhbinderEmail author
  • Paul E. Schulz
Reference work entry

Abstract

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has a prevalence of 6.8 % among the American population and an even greater prevalence among combat veterans. The conventional view of PTSD has been as a psychological adjustment disorder characterized by depression and anxiety in response to stressful circumstances. Recently, however, it has become apparent that it is much more than a psychological adjustment disorder. This began with the appreciation of the fact that dementia is much more common in PTSD, suggesting neurological changes in the disorder. There is now evidence for psychiatric changes (e.g., mood disorders, substance use and abuse), cardiovascular changes, autoimmune changes (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis), tumorigenic changes, etc. The goal of this chapter is to briefly review the evidence for systemic involvement in preparation for subsequent chapters that will focus on detailed discussions of each organ system.

Keywords

PTSD Systemic Neurologic Cardiac Respiratory Physiological Behavioral 

List of Abbreviations

AB

Alcohol abuse

AD

Alcohol dependency

CRH

Corticotropin releasing hormone

CSF

Cerebrospinal fluid

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid

DSM

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders

FT3

Free triiodothyronine

FT4

Free thyroxine

HPA

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal

HPT

Hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid

HR

Heart rate

MDD

Major depressive disorder

PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder

T3

Protein-bound triiodothyronine

T4

Protein-bound thyroxine

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UTHealth Department of NeurologyNeurocognitive Disorders CenterHoustonUSA

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