Stress, Resiliency and PTSD:From Neurobiology to Treatment




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Professor John Krystal introduced Tilde Cafe to specific regions of the brain that play a role in stress and resiliency, such as the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the winner of all names for the afternoon, the “bed nucleus stria terminalis”! Each of these, and other regions of the brain, are finely tuned to recognize and respond to unpleasant stimuli. But there are instances where this fine tuning can be disrupted, or is not function optimally, leading to anxiety and stress that becomes difficult to cope with. With Professor Krystal’s extensive experience working with veterans in his capacity as Director of the Clinical Neuroscience Division at the VA National Center for PTSD, we had a front row perspective on the status of research being carried out to help PTSD patients. Of the many novel approaches, a fascinating one related to Neuropeptide Y, one of the neurotransmitters we heard about in the September cafĂ©. Neuropeptide Y has the ability to confer resiliency and thus the ability to cope with stress, and there is active research to determine how this can be harnessed in coping with PTSD and perhaps even pre-empting it.

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