Brain Measures Linked to Hyperarousal in PTSD using MRI Imaging
“Exploring hyperarousal in PTSD by using neuromelanin-sensitive MRI.”
The purpose of this magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study is to examine a particular type of brain image (neuromelanin-sensitive MRI) that has been shown to be related to a brain chemical called noradrenaline. The function of this chemical may be changed in PTSD and could be connected to experiences of elevated fear and arousal. In this study we will measure this type of brain image and see if it is related to PTSD symptoms or if it is related to how your body and brain responds to an uncomfortable stimulation (mild electrical stimulation to the hand during an aversive conditioning task). If we find that this brain image is related to these symptoms and responses, it would show promise and could be tested in future studies as a technique that could be used as a brain marker to help guide treatment in PTSD. Hyperarousal symptoms in PTSD can lead to significant functional impairment and other negative outcomes, however, no specific brain-based treatment guidelines currently exist and therefore it is important for research to work towards developing these kinds of brain markers.