Difficulties encountered which could be enhanced
Post-traumatic stress is a set of reactions or symptoms that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. An event is called “traumatic” when a person is confronted with death, the fear of dying or when their physical integrity or that of another person may have been threatened.
To better understand what is happening to the brain during Post Traumatic Stress, let’s take the following examples. You are walking peacefully in the forest when a bear appears in front of you. Another situation could be where you witness a terrible crime. At this point, the amygdala, which is a region in the center of the brain, will sound the alarm. It will activate and send signals to other areas of the brain to trigger a series of biological mechanisms to prepare you to face the threat. Adrenaline production will be launched, heart and respiratory rates will accelerate, pupils will expand and many more mechanisms will be activated. It is then that the body will put itself in a state of emergency and hypervigilance.
Once the threat is removed, the amygdala should “return to rest” and thus remove the state of emergency in the nervous system. But when the event is too emotional or too long, the amygdala will not return completely to its original state. The emergency button will always remain a little depressed. It is then that people will feel an anxiety and / or hypervigilence that is omnipresent.
During the evaluation we use quantitative electroencephalography (EEGq) to measure the whole brain activity. The neuropsychologist will pay particular attention to the activity of the amygdala, but also to 2 other regions that play a role in post-traumatic stress, the prefrontal lobe and the hippocampus.
The prefrontal lobe is involved in judgment. It therefore plays a role in “reasoning” the individual that there is no real danger in the present moment. Then, the hippocampus (which is located in the center of the brain) will play a role in the memories and must be able to distinguish between what is happening now versus what results from a memory of the past.
Video in french only
According to a study conducted by Dale Foster and presented at the ISNR annual conference in September 20131 Neurofeedback is the most effective approach to treat many persistent symptoms following cranial traumal or during a post-traumatic stress disorder.
Did you know that the US Army uses the same devices and software as Neuroperforma to help their soldiers suffering from concussion and post-traumatic stress?
1. LORETA Z Score Neurofeedback in the treatment of Veterans with PTSD and TBI
Thursday, September 19, 2013, 10:50 AM – 11:20 AM
Dale Foster, Memphis Integral Neurofeedback Institute
Katherine Veazey-Morris, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Memphis, TN