April 29, 2019
By Mike Richman
VA Research Communications
A new study finds that Veterans and active-duty service members with combat-related PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury had larger amygdalas—the region of the brain that processes such emotions as fear, anxiety, and aggression—than those with only brain injuries.
The findings appeared online April 25 in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.
Through magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers found that the right and left sides of the amygdala in people with combat-related PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) were larger than those in people with only combat-related mTBI. The amygdala is an almond-shaped section of tissue in the temporal portion of the brain and is key to triggering PTSD symptoms.
The researchers caution that the findings were based on an observational study and therefore can’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship—only a correlation.
Read more at this link.
By Maria Cohut for MedicalNewsToday
Published April 24, 2019
New research in mice, which the National Institutes of Health supported, shows how ketamine can alter brain circuits, quickly redressing depression-like symptoms.
Previous studies have shown that ketamine — an anesthetic — can rapidly reduce severe symptoms of major depressive disorder, particularly the occurrence of suicidal thoughts.
However, researchers are still unsure how this substance acts in the brain to fight off depression or how to maintain its therapeutic effects in the long run.
Read the full article.