Neurobiology and Pharmcology of Trauma


According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, sampling individuals at risk for the development of trauma related symptomology may produce prevalence rates of up to 58 percent. In addition to significant prevalence rates, PTSD is very often difficult to diagnose as evidenced by the number and variation of other disorders from which PTSD must be distinguished. For these reasons it is important to study traumatic exposure and PTSD and to try and understand why some individuals will develop the disorders and others, also exposed to specific traumatic events, do not. Studying the symptomology  of traumatic exposure as it relates to possible neural mechanisms may provide some insight toward answering these questions. In addition this full-day course will explore neural changes, which may occur as a result of experiencing a traumatic event and may explain the variability of PTSD symptoms as well as the long-term nature of these symptoms.

Learning Objectives: By the end of the session, participants should be able to:

    •         List the three general categories of symptoms typically exhibited by consumers diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    •         Describe the role of the limbic system and associated structures in the production of memory dysfunction in persons who have been traumatized
    •         Summarize the mechanism by which the hypothalamus and pituitary gland produce the “fight of flight” response in persons diagnosed with PTSD
    •         Summarize the benefits and side-effects of the most common pharmacological agents used to treat PTSD/Trauma

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