Neurobiology of Dissociation

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Neurobiology of Dissociation

In the 5th edition of die DSM, a subtype of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was introduced which is characterized by additional symptoms of dissociation. Initial studies suggest that PTSD-patients of the dissociative subtype show increased symptom severity and benefit to a lesser extent from conventional trauma therapies compared to PTSD-patients without pronounced dissociative symptoms. The current proposal seeks to investigate the underlying neuronal mechanism of both PTSD subtypes: the well-known intrusive subtype as well as the recently introduced dissociative subtype. Both patient groups undergo a placebo-controlled, pharmacological challenge paradigm in the fMRI scanner. The continuation of the current project will not only ensure correlational analyses but enable to test a causal hypothesis of the etiology of dissociation and to determine dissociation-induced alterations in neural activations. The DFG funded study is performed in cooperation with Judith Daniels (Groningen).

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Assoc.-Prof. Dr. Judith Daniels