concussions and PTSD

this week seems to be guest blogging week.  first hubby yesterday on the mindset of a poker player, and today i’m the guest blogger – over on GNIF brainblogger you can find me writing about some interesting new findings on the connection between concussions and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  enjoy!

2 thoughts on “concussions and PTSD

  1. CK

    I’ve been reading about these latest results, and there are some really interesting correlations. Like between migraines and PTSD in returning Vets – 39% of migraine sufferers also had PTSD, whereas only 18% of Vets without migraines had it. It’s even more interesting when you know that in other studies 39% is about the number of migraine sufferers who experience accompanying visual auras.

    It seems to me in the light of the results you spoke of, and these other figures, that physical traumatic injury to the brain is indicated as a factor. Perhaps it’s the interruption/alteration to the way the life threatening event is visually processed and/or the blood flow changes in the brain, which would occur in all of the above scenarios that makes PTSD more likely? Given the effectiveness of treatments like EMDR I think it might even be likely. I’m no research scientist but it seems to point in that kind of a direction.
    What do you reckon?

    CK’s last blog post..Perfectly Imperfect.

  2. isabella mori

    hi catatonic kid –

    i really have no idea what the connections are, and i have also not read the original report.

    however, here is a theory that may explain some of it, and it has something to do with salience.

    you know the old question, “what were you doing when JFK was killed?” (or take any other international even; e.g. when you first heard of the tsunami in 2005). it is quite easy for us to remember that.

    so the experience of the event that caused the concussion is probably written quite clearly in people’s memories. now if there is loss of conscious after that, this salient even stands completely on its own. that makes it stand out even more. there is nothing that can cushion the blow of the experience.

    on top of that, the experience was not only life-threatening but MEANT to be life threatening, lived in an environment that is both, as well. that may explain why this does not happen in sports injuries (this latter point is one that the author made, as well, if i recall correctly).

    it’s also possible that PTSD acts a little like bad dreams: a “protection” mechanism of the brain to “rehearse” for future, similarly threatening events. (like numerous of our protective/coping mechanism, not very useful in the long run, at least for our day and age).

    so perhaps the brain says, this was horrible, nothing good happened afterwards, we better remember this so that next time this occurs, at least we “know the devil”.

    i’m not sure that this was the direction you were going, and i’d like to hear more about the migraine connection … ?

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