Trauma affects the brain in a variety of ways and according to new research; it can inhibit your brain’s ability to suppress unwanted emotional memories (“Exposure”, 2019).

This finding gives additional insight on those who develop PTSD from trauma, because PTSD is characterized by reliving past traumatic experiences – which, if trauma inhibits the brain’s ability to manage past, negative memories, it would be sense as to why trauma is the key to the manifestation of PTSD (“Exposure”, 2019).

To study this, researchers utilized a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine to evaluate individuals with PTSD, those who experienced trauma but do not have PTSD, and healthy controls. Individuals with PTSD, and those exposed to trauma, were both less likely to inhibit memories (“Exposure”, 2019).

“ ‘Neuroimaging data revealed that trauma-exposed individuals showed reduced activation in the right middle frontal gyrus, a critical region for memory suppression…these results suggest that trauma exposure is associated with neural and behavioral disruptions in memory suppression, [giving more insight on why PTSD develops],’” stated lead author Danielle Sullivan, PhD (“Exposure”, 2019).

Reference: Boston University School of Medicine. (2019, March 4). Exposure to trauma impacts ability to squash bad memories. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 10, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190304105445.htm