May 17, 2024
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Recently, neuroscientists invented that people who have gone through traumatic events in the past that caused PTSD in them have smaller brains.

A research conducted by Duke University reveals that adults with PTSD have 2% smaller cerebellum than people who do not have the disorder. Whether PTSD caused the cerebellum to be smaller, or the PTSD impacted on the cerebellum to be tiny, the answer is yet to be found. 

The cerebellum is a part of the brain which is associated with the body movement and balance. At the same time, it can influence memory and emotions too, which are impacted by PTSD. 

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that is caused due to experiencing excessive fear, traumatic events (e.g. military assault, severe depression, sexual abuse, bullying, fire accident) in the past. Previous studies found that 6% of the victims begin suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, rest are usually spared.

Duke University’s Dr. Morey, along with 40 more research teams shared their datasets to overcome the biased sample problems of their research. When every brain imaging scans of the 40 teams were collected together, it helped the researchers to study PTSD more effectively. 

After this, researchers used automated software to analyze the brain scans and one of them post-reviewed the automated analysis process. This thorough process insight that posttraumatic stress disorder patients have 2% smaller cerebellum size. 

Hence, according to this study it’s proved that patients that are suffering from PTSD might feel difficulties in movement related activities as the cerebellum is smaller in size, and this difficulty will be covert in most of the cases. Patients might lose their locomotion efficiency than the normal people. Moreover, the symptoms of cerebellar hypoplasia might be noticed in the patients. Some common symptoms are : seizures, headache, dizzy spells, clumsiness, hearing difficulty, and intellectual disability.

However, researchers found that the amygdala and hippocampus are two important brain regions that are involved in PTSD. Note that, amygdala regulates fear and the hippocampus is a critical hub that processes memories and transfers them throughout the brain. 

Conversely, cerebellum has a little role in PTSD and it is more associated with balanced activities (e.g. dancing and locomotion). 

Nevertheless, cerebellum is a complex dense area with thousands of neurons. Well, cerebellum contains 80% neurons of the brain and weighs 10% of the brain. It hints that it is not unnatural to imagine that cerebellum does a lot more than dancing and moving. 

Therefore, Duke University researchers predict that PTSD might have a closer relation to the cerebellum, since it’s not only related with muscle coordination. If the causation relationship between cerebellum size and PTSD is found, it will be easier to treat PTSD extensively. 

Furthermore, even if the cerebellum is a dense area of neurons, not a lot of information is found about this brain region. So, it’s crucial to find out every role of the cerebellum in the human body to diagnose neuro-diseases like PTSD, anxiety, fear etc.  

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