Neuropsychological processes in post-traumatic stress disorder

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The unique constellation of symptoms that constitute post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may reflect persistent alterations in attention and memory that are fundamental to this disorder. This article reviews the literature on the neuropsychology of PTSD and its relevance to phenomenological, clinical, and biological aspects of this disorder. It addresses the nature and magnitude of the neuropsychological alterations in PTSD and the extent to which they involve the processing of trauma-related or neutral stimuli. This article summarizes the types of deficits in attention and memory that have been found in a broad range of trauma survivors with PTSD and explores the extent to which the deficits may be risk factors for or consequences of trauma and PTSD. The implications of these findings for the course and pathophysiology of PTSD are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-315
Number of pages21
JournalPsychiatric Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


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