The Formation of a Neural Fear Network in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

  title={The Formation of a Neural Fear Network in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder},
  author={Sarah Wilker and Iris-Tatjana Kolassa},
  journal={Clinical Psychological Science},
  pages={452 - 469}
Individuals differ strongly in their vulnerability to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the aftermath of traumatic stress. This review on genetic risk factors in PTSD etiology employs the perspective of a psychobiological model, which proposes that intrusive memories, the core PTSD symptom, result from the formation of an associative neural fear network, which stores sensory-perceptual representations of traumatic memories. The current state of research on the genetics of PTSD, as… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Neurobiological mechanisms underlying delayed expression of posttraumatic stress disorder: A scoping review

Delayed PTSD may result from multiple underlying neurobiological mechanisms that may influence the likelihood of developing prodromal symptoms preceding the onset of full-blown PTSD.

The Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Workgroup: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Enters the Age of Large-Scale Genomic Collaboration

The formation of a group dedicated to large-scale study of PTSD genetics: the PGC-PTSD, which will lead the search for replicable genetic associations and new insights into the biological underpinnings of PTSD.

Aberrant Neural Connectivity During Emotional Processing Associated With Posttraumatic Stress

Analysis of patterns of functional connectivity among key brain regions implicated in the pathophysiology of posttraumatic stress disorder in 35 trauma-exposed adults using an emotion-word Stroop task suggests that hyperarousal is associated with negative mPFC-amygdala coupling and that reexperiencing isassociated with altered insula-hippocampus function, patterns of connectivity that may represent separable indicators of dysfunctional inhibitory control during affective processing.

Mental Defeat and Cumulative Trauma Experiences Predict Trauma-Related Psychopathology: Evidence From a Postconflict Population in Northern Uganda

The peritraumatic cognitive process of mental defeat, the complete loss of inner resistance, has been identified as a key predictor of PTSD. Yet, most evidence on cognitive risk factors stems from

Does trauma event type matter in the assessment of traumatic load?

Two statistical methods are compared based on their ability to rank traumatic experiences according to their importance for predicting lifetime PTSD, and the simple sum score is recommended to measure the environmental factor traumatic load, e.g., in analyses of gene × environment interactions.

Pathophysiological aspects of complex PTSD – a neurobiological account in comparison to classic posttraumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder

Abstract Despite a great diagnostic overlap, complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) has been recognised by the ICD-11 as a new, discrete entity and recent empirical evidence points towards a

PTSD, Endophenotypes, the RDoC, and the DSM-5

The search for endophenotypes that stand between genetics and disease has been applied to the diagnostic entity of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Advances are being made in understanding the

The role of FKBP5 genotype in moderating long-term effectiveness of exposure-based psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder

The FKBP5 genotype significantly moderated the long-term effectiveness of exposure-based psychotherapy, and could represent valuable targets for accompanying medication in survivors of the rebel war in Northern Uganda.



Neurobiology of posttraumatic stress disorder

A cognitive model of posttraumatic stress disorder.

The long‐term costs of traumatic stress: intertwined physical and psychological consequences

  • A. McFarlane
  • Psychology, Medicine
    World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association
  • 2010
An increasing body of literature suggests that the effects of traumatic stress need to be considered as a major environmental challenge that places individual's physical and psychological health equally at risk.

The nature and significance of memory disturbance in posttraumatic stress disorder.

  • C. Brewin
  • Psychology
    Annual review of clinical psychology
  • 2011
Some aspects of memory likely to play a causal role that are in addition specific to PTSD are the integration of the trauma with identity, impairment in retrieval of voluntary trauma memories, and increased incidence of sensation-based memories or flashbacks.

PKCα is genetically linked to memory capacity in healthy subjects and to risk for posttraumatic stress disorder in genocide survivors

It is shown that genetic variability of the gene encoding PKCα (PRKCA) was associated with memory capacity—including aversive memory—in nontraumatized subjects of European descent, and a genetic link between memory and the risk for PTSD is suggested.

What is it that a neurobiological model of PTSD must explain?

  • C. Brewin
  • Psychology, Biology
    Progress in brain research
  • 2008

Structural and Functional Neuroplasticity in Relation to Traumatic Stress

Evidence of brain changes in PTSD is summarized, including recent results from research on animal models of stress-related neuroplastic remodeling, with an emphasis on structural and functional changes in the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the medial prefrontal cortex.

Association between the dopamine transporter gene and posttraumatic stress disorder

The study evaluated 102 chronic PTSD patients and 104 carefully-documented trauma survivors who did not develop PTSD to suggest that genetically determined changes in dopaminergic reactivity may contribute to the occurrence of PTSD among trauma survivors.