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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is represented by the development of characteristic symptoms, that appear following direct/indirect exposure to a traumatic event in which physical harm was threatened, witnessed or experienced. PTSD can also occur after the unexpected death of a family member or close friend, following a serious harm or threat of death or injury to a loved one, or in case of divorce or unemplyoement. It occurs in 1%-4% of the population. As neuroendocrine pattern, PTSD is characterized by abnormal low cortisol levels and higher than normal epinephrine and norepinephrine levels. In chronique forms a total decrease of the hippocampal volume, was found, region of the brain involved in processing memories and in the memorization process. Symptoms are grouped in three main categories: re-experiencing the event, accompanied by anxiety, nightmares and flashbacks; persistent avoidance of any reminders of the event, feeling detached or estranged from others; persistent anxiety and/or physical reactivity. As treatment, besides various psychotherapy techniques, various classes of psychotropic drugs are used, such as morphine, antipsychotics, usual or atypical antidepressants, anticonvulsants, to reduce anxiety, avoidance, nightmares and hyperexcitability.


Ioana Cristina Amihaesei, O C Mungiu. Posttraumatic stress disorder: neuroendocrine and pharmacotherapeutic approach. Revista medico-chirurgicală̆ a Societă̆ţ̜ii de Medici ş̧i Naturaliş̧ti din Iaş̧i. 2012 Apr-Jun;116(2):563-6

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PMID: 23077954

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