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Concussions may cause PTSD: report

February 22, 2012

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Los Angeles – Mild trauma to the brain may make a person more likely to develop anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a study from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Researchers analyzed rats exposed to a mild brain trauma, according to the study abstract. They found that stressful post-injury events caused a heightened sense of fear among rats that experienced a mild traumatic brain injury, when compared to the control group.

The rats exposed to the brain trauma appeared to overgeneralize learned fear and showed an overall increase in fear to stimuli. The injured animals showed an overall significant increase in fear expression, suggesting that a brain concussion can produce a state where fear conditioning is enhanced by a stressful situation, according to the study.

The study was published Feb. 15 in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

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