A recent medical study undertaken on the brain scans of Vietnam war veterans have revealed that certain serious head injuries can prevent soldiers from developing post-truamatic stress disorders(PTSD).The unexpected side-effect was found out from a study of nearly 200 former U.S soldiers in Vietnam, which found that those who had suffered shrapnel injuries to specific regions of the brain did not go on to develop the psychiatric illness.
The study raises the prospects of new teratments for PTSD, using drugs and other therapies to dampen down regions of the brain that become overactive in patients with the illness.
Large number of war veterans develop PTSD after witnessing disterssing events while in combat.The psychological impact causes them to relive the events over and over again through disturbing and realistic flashbacks and nightmares.
Jordan Grafman, a senior researcher at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Maryland and his team took brain scans of 192 veterans, all of whom had brain injuries from fragments of shrapnel, either from incoming shells or from explosive devices rigged upto booby traps.Some 52 other veterans’ scans who had not sustained any brain injuries were also examined.
Following the brain scans the veterans were divided into two groups, those who had sustained brain injuries and those who were not.Those veterans with one or two parts of the brain damage or injuries were extermely unlikely to have PTSD,that means none of the 50 men who sufferred damage to the amygdala had ever experienced PTSD.In comparison some 48% of those with no brain injuries and 40 % of men with any other kind of brain injury had been diagnosed with PTSD.The above said results prompted the researchers to evolve a different kind of treatments to the above said different groups of people according to their category of brain injury or without brain injury.