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THE emotional stress of Japan’s tsunami and earthquake disaster resulted in some survivors suffering a shrinkage of the brain, according to a new study.
Scientists compared before and after brain scans of healthy adolescents who were affected by last year’s March 11 disaster in order to measure the neurological effects of emotional trauma.
The findings revealed that those suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) had experienced a shrinkage in the part of the brain associated with decision-making and regulation of emotions.
Although scientists believe that the brain changes are not necessarily permanent, the discovery paves the way for a deeper understanding of the emotional impact of trauma and more effective methods of preventing PTSD.
Scientists are showing just how measurable and dangerous — prolonged exposure to stress can be.
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