PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to combat or another extremely disturbing event. According to a study it was found that Vietnam combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when compared with their non-combat exposed, identical twins had minor neurologic deficits. It suggests that these deficits are not acquired by exposure to traumatic events but instead may predispose individuals to PTSD. The study was published in the journal of Archives of General Psychiatry.
It was found previously that certain brain structures were diminished among individuals with PTSD. Researchers said that this could be because of traumatic events experienced by these patients or due to PTSD. But other researchers feel that brain abnormalities may precede exposure to a traumatic event and increase the risk that a person who experiences such an event would develop PTSD. Tamara V. Gurvits, M.D., Ph.D., Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Manchester, N.H., and colleagues studied 49 male Vietnam veterans and their identical twins, who had not experienced combat. Of the 49 participants 25 of them had PTSD and 24 had never had PTSD. They were evaluated by a neurologist-psychiatrist, who rated their ability from a score of zero to three on each of 45 neurologic tests, such as copying drawings of figures.