Psychiatric Quarterly [psaq] ph077-psaq-361312 April 2, 2002 8:21 Style ﬁle version Nov. 19th, 1999
Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 2, Summer 2002 (
CLINICAL RELEVANCE OF BIOLOGIC
FINDINGS IN PTSD
Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) describes a syndrome in which a trauma
survivor experiences an inability to get the event out of his/her mind. The
symptoms of PTSD were initially conceptualized as resulting from the cascade
of biological and psychological responses following the activation of fear
and other brain systems. In the last decade, scientiﬁc developments have
led to a better understanding of why only certain individuals develop this
disorder. Furthermore, studies of the neurobiology of PTSD have delineated
speciﬁc alterations that help shape our understanding of how biological and
psychological responses at the time of traumatic events may have long-term
consequences. This review will discuss these new ﬁndings and their treatment
KEY WORDS: posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); neurobiology; fear; cortisol; risk
Traumatic stress—whether referring to the experience of Israelis being
bombed by terrorists, refugees being forced to abandon their homes and
ﬂee for their lives, or high school students needing to survive shooting
Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Bronx Veterans Affairs,
New York, NY.
Address correspondence to Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D., OOMH, 130 West Kingsbridge Road,
Bronx, NY 10469; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2002 Human Sciences Press, Inc.