The physiologic response to stress and its effect on the structure and function of specific stress-related neural circuits has been an important topic of recent interest across a number of psychiatric disorders. This has been especially pertinent to the investigation of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which has also served as a model to further advance our understanding of the effects of traumatic stress on the brain. Much of this work has focused on stress-associated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis dysregulation and its impact on several specific regions, such as the hippocampus and amygdala. A great deal of attention has focused on the HPA stress response and the regulatory role and susceptibility of the hippocampus to hypercortisolemic excitotoxic damage (
1). Few studies have focused on cortical structural changes associated with PTSD or traumatic stress exposure. The magnetic resonance imaging study of twins discordant for PTSD reported by Kasai et al. in this issue (pages 550–556) provides unique information about cortical change associated with PTSD and provides further insight related to the specificity of cortical regions involved in stress response and the cortical regions that are vulnerable to stress-related damage.
- Vermetten E.
- Vythilingam M.
- Southwick S.M.
- Charney D.S.
- Bremner J.D.
Long-term treatment with paroxetine increases verbal declarative memory and hippocampal volume in posttraumatic stress disorder.
Biol Psychiatry. 2003; 54: 693-702
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Accepted: January 23, 2008
Received in revised form: January 22, 2008
Received: January 8, 2008
© 2008 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.