Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a neuropsychiatric disorder which develops after psychological trauma. It can be a debilitating disease and is especially prevalent in combat veterans and victims of interpersonal violence and rape.

Scientists in the Department of Pathology and Anatomy are focused on understanding how traumatic stress produces PTSD and on uncovering the changes in the brain that produce its persisting symptoms. Using animal models, they recently discovered that fear memories, thought to underlie PTSD, can be modified such that they no longer produce alterations in sleep, one of the disorder's most distressing symptoms.