chapter  7
24 Pages

Neurobehavioral aspects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

ByJulie A. Alvarez, Kelsey Oveson, Jennifer J. Vasterling

Entering the diagnostic taxonomy in 1980 with the publication of the third revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III; American Psychiatric Association, 1980), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) initially was received with some trepidation by a subset of the psychiatric community (North, Suris, Davis, & Smith, 2009). Although PTSD is now well-established as a diagnosis, conceptualizations of the disorder continue to evolve, as refl ected at the writing of this chapter by ongoing discussions surrounding the development of the fi fth edition of the DSM (e.g., Brewin, Lanius, Novac, Schnyder, & Galea, 2009; Kilpatrick, Resnick, & Acierno, 2009; Resick & Miller, 2009). In this chapter, we focus on PTSD as a neurobehavioral syndrome and discuss unresolved issues related to the neuropsychology of PTSD. As a backdrop for this discussion, we fi rst present information regarding current diagnostic criteria and assessment, clinical features of the disorder, and history of the diagnosis.