Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:
Clinical and Neurobiological Features
Date: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Time: 9:00AM - 2:30PM
Location: UTHSC General Education Building A204
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that may develop following exposure to a traumatic event that involved physical injury or the threat of physical injury. While PTSD has been long associated with war veterans, it can result from a variety of traumatic events such as rape, torture, child abuse, car accidents, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. People who have PTSD may experience many negative symptoms including flashbacks, difficulty concentrating, outbursts of anger, hypervigilence, and the avoidance of things that remind the person of the traumatic event. It is not known why some people suffer from PTSD after a trauma and some do not, but is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
On April 24, 2014, the Neuroscience Institute at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) hosted a symposium focused on the neurobiological and clinical features of PTSD and featured clinical and research experts in the field of PTSD and TBI. This symposium was held from 9:00am to 2:30pm in the General Education Building room A204 (GEB A204) and moderated by assistant professor, Dr. Max Fletcher. The keynote speakers were Dr. Kerry J. Ressler and Dr. Jeffrey J. Bazarian. Dr. Ressler is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Emory University School of Medicine. He researches the molecular and cellular mechanisms of fear and extinction of fear in mouse models and is also a practicing psychiatrist with an interest in translational and clinical research focusing on the genetic underpinnings of fear and anxiety disorders, including PTSD. Dr. Bazarian is an associate professor of Emergency Medicine at University of Rochester Medical Center. He is currently using neuroimaging techniques to investigate the consequences of repeat concussions and sub-concussive head blows among athletes and veterans.
This symposium also hosted local speakers with expertise in the neurobiological and clinical features of PTSD.
Drs. Brad L. Roper and Ellen M. Crouse are neuropsychologists and members of the Polytrauma team at the Memphis VA Medical Center. This interdisciplinary team completes assessments and develops individualized treatment plans that build cognitive skills in veterans identified as having continuing problems from TBI and PTSD. Dr. Anton J. Reiner is a professor in the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology at UTHSC with longstanding research interests in diseases of the basal ganglia and eye. His talk focused on some recent work developing a novel mouse model of TBI that mimics some of the neurobiological and behavioral symptoms seen in human PTSD and TBI. Dr. Scott A. Heldt is an assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology at UTHSC. His research is interested in understanding the neural mechanisms mediating fear and anxiety using animal models. His talk focused on the use of rodents as tools to identify the basic neural mechanisms underlying normal anxiety as well as psychiatric conditions involving fear and anxiety.
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
875 Monroe Ave, Suite 426
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-5960
Fax: (901) 448-4685
426 Wittenborg Anatomy Building
William E. Armstrong, Ph.D.
Anton J. Reiner, Ph.D.
Administrative Services Assistant:
Brandy Fleming, M.S.