Neurophysiology and Psychopharmacology of Trauma (PTSD)


# of CE's: 5

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders sampling individuals at risk for the development of trauma related symptomology might produce prevalence rates of up to 58 percent. In addition to significant prevalence rates, PTSD is very often difficult to diagnose as evidenced by the number and variation of other disorders from which PTSD must be distinguished.

For these reasons it is important to study PTSD and to try and understand why some individuals will develop the disorders and others, also exposed to specific traumatic events, do not. Studying the symptomology of PTSD as it relates to possible neural mechanisms may provide some insight toward answering these questions. In addition neural changes, which may occur as a result of experiencing a traumatic event, may explain the variability of PTSD symptoms as well as the long-term nature of these symptoms.

Learning Objectives:

  • List the four general categories of symptoms typically exhibited by persons with Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD);
  • Describe the role of the limbic system and associated structures in the production of memory dysfunction in persons who have been traumatized;
  • Summarize the mechanism by which the hypothalamus and pituitary gland produce the “fight or flight” response in persons diagnosed with PTSD;
  • Summarize the benefits and side-effects of the most common pharmacological agents used to treat PTSD;
  • Describe the relationship between REM sleep and Eye Movement Desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) as one possible treatment of trauma-related disorders

Intended Audience:

Thisintroductory overview course, is designed for staff at all levels in behavioral health & other human services programs/agencies. This course was last presented in 2012 and has since been updated

Instructional Level:


Completion Requirements:

Participants must attend entire presentation and complete a course evaluation in order to receive credits.