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James Morgan


In the scholarly community, there is disagreement about the effects of PTSD or chronic stress on the brain of adults and children. Though PTSD or chronic stress are known to negatively affect neurobiological structures, specifically due to prolonged glucocorticoid excess, volumetric discrepancies between traumatized and control groups are not unanimously confirmed. This review sought to address the common understandings in academia of the effects of PTSD on the brains of adults and children. Literature on this topic indicated that, in adults, the hippocampus, cingulate gyrus, and prefrontal cortex bilaterally appeared to decrease in gray matter volume and the corpus callosum decreased in white matter volume, while the amygdala bilaterally increased in gray matter volume. In children, however, volumetric differences are generally not present. PTSD and chronic stress has further effects on the body, with immunological, cardiovascular, and behavioral differences appearing in traumatized individuals as opposed to healthy controls. Potential genetic or neurochemical treatments are also hypothesized, with specific emphasis being placed on demethylation of the NR3C1 gene and increase of reelin or cypin production. Implications of this review are also given, regarding the importance of interdisciplinary research and how future research must be conducted.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License