What is new in research on posttraumatic stress disorder?
In this Research Roundup, we explore new studies on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its connections to emotional dysregulation, substance use disorders, bipolar disorder, and other comorbidities.
PTSD and Emotional Dysregulation in Adolescents and Young Adults
This systematic review investigated the relationship between emotional dysregulation (ED) and PTSD symptoms in adolescents and young adults, aiming to understand whether ED acts as a risk factor for PTSD or a consequence of traumatic exposure. The 34 included studies, despite exhibiting heterogeneity, suggested that ED may serve as a mediator of vulnerability to PTSD and a predictor of severity and persistence of PTSD symptoms.
The investigators concluded, “This research highlights the role of ED as a mechanism that may mediate vulnerability to PTSD, but also as a predictor of severity and maintenance of typical, atypical, or associated PTSD symptoms, suggesting prevention programs for PTSD and other mental disorders should support the development of emotion regulation strategies.”
Conti L, Fantasia S, Violi M, et al. Emotional dysregulation and post-traumatic stress symptoms: which interaction in adolescents and young adults? a systematic review. Brain Sci. 2023;13(12):1730.
PTSD and SUDs in Adolescents and the Role of Neuroimaging
Childhood and adolescent trauma have enduring impacts on brain development, increasing the risk of psychiatric disorders. This review explored the connection between PTSD during adolescence and substance use disorders (SUDs), emphasizing how substance misuse as a coping mechanism may contribute to neuroadaptations facilitating the consolidation of traumatic memories, perpetuating PTSD.
The results underscore the importance of effective prevention strategies for PTSD to mitigate the negative consequences associated with later development of SUDs, with neuroimaging playing a crucial role in understanding the underlying brain mechanisms.
Etami Y, Lildharrie C, Manza P, et al. Neuroimaging in adolescents: post-traumatic stress disorder and risk for substance use disorders. Genes (Basel). 2023;14(12):2113.
A Complex Case of Psychosis in Comorbid PTSD, Gender Dysphoria, and Bipolar Disorder
This case report explored the co-occurrence of PTSD and bipolar disorder in a 21-year-old female-to-male transgender individual with a complex psychiatric history. The patient, experiencing psychosis and trauma, presented with inconsistent hormone treatments, a self-attributed diagnosis of “associative identity disorder,” and a family history of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
The investigators concluded that a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach, including psychological evaluations, is crucial for accurately diagnosing and effectively treating complex psychiatric cases with multiple comorbidities, as highlighted by the presented case.
Ansari MI, Sperry SD, Leontieva L, Megna JL. Psychological testing in a complex case: psychosis in co-occurring PTSD, gender dysphoria, and bipolar disorder. Cureus. 2023;15(11):e49626.
Note: This Research Roundup was prepared with the assistance of ChatGPT.
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