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PSYC 3014 PTSD Biological Theories Paper

PSYC 3014 PTSD Biological Theories Paper - Biological...

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Biological Theories of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Theories of the origin and course of posttraumatic stress disorder have been widely studied by researchers. There are available theories from every discipline of psychology, including behavioral, cognitive, psychoanalytic, or biological. This paper will focus on a few of the biological bases of PTSD. One theory of PTSD concerns increased levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine circulating throughout the nervous system. Studies have hypothesized that this increase in neurotransmitter activity is a response to stimuli that provoke memories of the original trauma in those suffering from PTSD, and that this increased activity is manifested by an inordinate sympathetic nervous system outpouring, resulting in an increase in catecholamine release plus elevated heart rate and blood pressure (McFall, Murburg, Roszell, & Veith, 1989, p. 252). Another theory explaining this elevated catecholamine release is an imbalance between norepinephrine and opioid release at the locus coeruleus (the nucleus in the brain stem responsible for physiological responses to stressors).
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