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5 - Developmental Origins of Neurobiological Vulnerability for PTSD

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 July 2009

Rosemary Bagot
Affiliation:
Graduate student Neuroscience, McGill University, Montréal, Québec
Carine Parent
Affiliation:
Graduate student Neurological Sciences Program, McGill University, Montréal, Québec
Timothy W. Bredy
Affiliation:
Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles
Tieyuan Zhang
Affiliation:
Postdoctoral Fellow Program for the Study of Behaviour, Genes and Environment, McGill University, Montréal, Québec
Alain Gratton
Affiliation:
Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry, McGill University; Researcher, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montréal, Québec
Michael J. Meaney
Affiliation:
James McGill Professor of Medicine Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology and Neurosurgery; Director Program for the Study of Behaviour, Genes and Environment, McGill University; Associate Director of Research Researcher, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montréal, Québec
Laurence J. Kirmayer
Affiliation:
McGill University, Montréal
Robert Lemelson
Affiliation:
University of California, Los Angeles
Mark Barad
Affiliation:
University of California, Los Angeles
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Summary

The question of vulnerability lies very much at the heart of research on anxiety disorders, such as PTSD (Yehuda, Schmeidler, Wainberg, Binder-Brynes, & Duvdevani, 1998). Surprisingly, only a minority (∼25–30%) of humans subjected to even such a profound trauma as rape develop PTSD (Ressnick, Kilpatrick, Dansky, Saunders, & Best, 1993), and early family life serves as a highly significant predictor of vulnerability to PTSD following trauma (Udwin, Boyle, Yule, Bolton, & O'Ryan, 2000). Moreover, many cases of PTSD derive from events that might not be considered as necessarily traumatic by the general population (Breslau et al., 1998), a finding that further underscores the importance of vulnerability. Moreover, there is evidence for the familial transmission of vulnerability to PTSD that is related to alterations in parent–offspring interactions. These findings are not surprising because anxiety reduces parental responsiveness to offspring (e.g., Fleming, 1988, 1999). These findings suggest that early life events might alter the development of neural systems that mediate cognitive and emotional responses to trauma, and thus contribute to individual differences in vulnerability to PTSD.

The question can be rendered more precise in light of the remarkable advances in human clinical studies. First, PTSD research suggests that the probability of chronic PTSD following trauma is related to the magnitude of the initial reaction to the event (Shalev, this volume). Hence, factors that influence the development of individual differences in reactivity are likely of considerable relevance.

Type
Chapter
Information
Understanding Trauma
Integrating Biological, Clinical, and Cultural Perspectives
, pp. 98 - 117
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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  • Developmental Origins of Neurobiological Vulnerability for PTSD
    • By Rosemary Bagot, Graduate student Neuroscience, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Carine Parent, Graduate student Neurological Sciences Program, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Timothy W. Bredy, Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Tieyuan Zhang, Postdoctoral Fellow Program for the Study of Behaviour, Genes and Environment, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Alain Gratton, Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry, McGill University; Researcher, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montréal, Québec, Michael J. Meaney, James McGill Professor of Medicine Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology and Neurosurgery; Director Program for the Study of Behaviour, Genes and Environment, McGill University; Associate Director of Research Researcher, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montréal, Québec
  • Edited by Laurence J. Kirmayer, McGill University, Montréal, Robert Lemelson, University of California, Los Angeles, Mark Barad, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Book: Understanding Trauma
  • Online publication: 27 July 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511500008.009
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  • Developmental Origins of Neurobiological Vulnerability for PTSD
    • By Rosemary Bagot, Graduate student Neuroscience, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Carine Parent, Graduate student Neurological Sciences Program, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Timothy W. Bredy, Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Tieyuan Zhang, Postdoctoral Fellow Program for the Study of Behaviour, Genes and Environment, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Alain Gratton, Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry, McGill University; Researcher, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montréal, Québec, Michael J. Meaney, James McGill Professor of Medicine Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology and Neurosurgery; Director Program for the Study of Behaviour, Genes and Environment, McGill University; Associate Director of Research Researcher, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montréal, Québec
  • Edited by Laurence J. Kirmayer, McGill University, Montréal, Robert Lemelson, University of California, Los Angeles, Mark Barad, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Book: Understanding Trauma
  • Online publication: 27 July 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511500008.009
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Developmental Origins of Neurobiological Vulnerability for PTSD
    • By Rosemary Bagot, Graduate student Neuroscience, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Carine Parent, Graduate student Neurological Sciences Program, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Timothy W. Bredy, Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Brain Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, Tieyuan Zhang, Postdoctoral Fellow Program for the Study of Behaviour, Genes and Environment, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Alain Gratton, Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry, McGill University; Researcher, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montréal, Québec, Michael J. Meaney, James McGill Professor of Medicine Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology and Neurosurgery; Director Program for the Study of Behaviour, Genes and Environment, McGill University; Associate Director of Research Researcher, Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Montréal, Québec
  • Edited by Laurence J. Kirmayer, McGill University, Montréal, Robert Lemelson, University of California, Los Angeles, Mark Barad, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Book: Understanding Trauma
  • Online publication: 27 July 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511500008.009
Available formats
×