Emotional working memory capacity in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Participants with a lifetime history of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma-exposed controls with no PTSD history completed an emotional working memory capacity (eWMC) task. The task required them to remember lists of neutral words over short intervals while simultaneously processing sentences describing dysfunctional trauma-related thoughts (relative to neutral control sentences). The task was designed to operationalise an everyday cognitive challenge for those with mental health problems such as PTSD; namely, the ability to carry out simple, routine tasks with emotionally benign material, while at the same time tackling emotional laden intrusive thoughts and feelings. eWMC performance, indexed as the ability to remember the word lists in the context of trauma sentences, relative to neutral sentences, was poorer overall in the PTSD group compared with controls, suggestive of a particular difficulty employing working memory in emotion-related contexts in those with a history of PTSD. The possible implications for developing affective working memory training as an adjunctive treatment for PTSD are explored.
Read more here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3145962/?tool=pubmed
University of Iowa News Release:
The patient in the case study has a rare condition that destroyed her amygdala. UI researchers observed the patient’s response to frightening stimuli such as a haunted house, snakes, spiders, and horror films, and asked her about traumatic experiences in her past -– including situations that had endangered her life. They found that without a functioning amygdala, the patient is unable to experience fear.
Full Article here: http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2010/december/121610ptsd.html
From Stars and Stripes:
ARLINGTON, Va. — Defense officials have rejected the idea that troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder should be eligible for the Purple Heart.
“PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event; it is not a wound intentionally caused by the enemy from an ‘outside force or agent,’ but is a secondary effect caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event,” said Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen Lainez.
The matter came up in May, when a military psychologist at Fort Bliss, Texas, told reporters he felt that making troops suffering from PTSD eligible for the Purple Heart would help remove the disorder’s stigma.
“These guys have paid at least a high — as high a price, some of them — as anybody with a traumatic brain injury, as anybody with shrapnel wound, and what it does is it says this is the wound that isn’t worthy, and I say it is,” John E. Fortunato said in May.