Predicting PTSD Before it Occurs

Most of us experience intense emotions and reactions after a traumatizing event like a combat situation or a vehicle accident. Some people suffer much longer and become caught up in the throws of a long term disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD which can be debilitating.

According to a news article, doctors can’t provide preventive interventions until they can predict if you will develop such a disorder. However, now researchers at Tel Aviv University are working on a new project to identify those who may be more prone to PTSD before the traumatic event happens.

Researchers are using EEG, or electroencephalography and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to study the brain areas regulating our emotional responses to traumatic stress situations. Then, they decode the brain’s functionality that identifies the pre as well as post-trauma psychopathology.

This is ongoing research that proves to be a powerful new approach to examining the brain and giving ongoing monitoring that can be tailored to individuals. The sooner and more accurate those with PTSD can be diagnosed, the better the healthcare system can provide treatment for them.

This research may also be used for monitoring those of us at a higher risk of developing this disorder like soldiers in combat zones. Diagnosing and providing treatment for mental disorders relies on understanding how our brains encode and regulate our emotions.

Researchers believe there are certain combinations of cognitive and emotional brain activities that might better indicate a person’s susceptibility toward traumatic disorders rather than studying each individual area of the brain. Ultimately, the goal is to create a portable machine that monitors the brain and tells the emotional state of those who suffered trauma.