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Heart Rate Variability and PTSD

Janine Thome, Maria Densmore, Paul A Frewen, Margaret C McKinnon, Jean Théberge, Andrew A Nicholson, Julian Koenig, Julian F Thayer, Ruth A Lanius
OBJECTIVES: Although dysfunctional emotion regulatory capacities are increasingly recognized as contributing to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), little work has sought to identify biological markers of this vulnerability. Heart rate variability (HRV) is a promising biomarker that, together with neuroimaging, may assist in gaining a deeper understanding of emotion dysregulation in PTSD. The objective of the present study was, therefore, to characterize autonomic response patterns, and their related neuronal patterns in individuals with PTSD at rest...
September 20, 2016: Human Brain Mapping
Laurel Hourani, Stephen Tueller, Paul Kizakevich, Gregory Lewis, Laura Strange, Belinda Weimer, Stephanie Bryant, Ellen Bishop, Robert Hubal, James Spira
The objective of this pilot study was to design, develop, and evaluate a predeployment stress inoculation training (PRESIT) preventive intervention to enable deploying personnel to cope better with combat-related stressors and mitigate the negative effects of trauma exposure. The PRESIT program consisted of three predeployment training modules: (1) educational materials on combat and operational stress control, (2) coping skills training involving focused and relaxation breathing exercises with biofeedback, and (3) exposure to a video multimedia stressor environment to practice knowledge and skills learned in the first two modules...
September 2016: Military Medicine
Ashley N Clausen, Robin L Aupperle, Jason-Flor V Sisante, David R Wilson, Sandra A Billinger
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and combat-related PTSD in particular, has been associated with increased rates of cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular-related death. However, less research has examined possible factors that may link PTSD to poorer cardiovascular health in combat veteran populations. The current pilot study investigated whether psychological symptomology and autonomic reactivity to emotional scripts would relate to poorer cardiovascular health in combat veterans without a current diagnosis of cardiovascular disease...
2016: PloS One
Michelle B Rissling, Paul A Dennis, Lana L Watkins, Patrick S Calhoun, Michelle F Dennis, Jean C Beckham, Junichiro Hayano, Christi S Ulmer
Prior research has demonstrated that individuals exposed to trauma have shown impaired autonomic function. We sought to determine if heart rate variability (HRV), a marker of impaired autonomic function, differed across periods of wake, rest, and sleep as a function of the level of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A sample of young adults (N = 209), 95 of whom met full criteria for current PTSD based on the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS; Blake et al., 1995), were evaluated for ≈ 24 hr using actigraphy and electrocardiogram...
October 2016: Journal of Traumatic Stress
Borwin Bandelow, David Baldwin, Marianna Abelli, Blanca Bolea-Alamanac, Michel Bourin, Samuel R Chamberlain, Eduardo Cinosi, Simon Davies, Katharina Domschke, Naomi Fineberg, Edna Grünblatt, Marek Jarema, Yong-Ku Kim, Eduard Maron, Vasileios Masdrakis, Olya Mikova, David Nutt, Stefano Pallanti, Stefano Pini, Andreas Ströhle, Florence Thibaut, Matilde M Vaghi, Eunsoo Won, Dirk Wedekind, Adam Wichniak, Jade Woolley, Peter Zwanzger, Peter Riederer
OBJECTIVE: Biomarkers are defined as anatomical, biochemical or physiological traits that are specific to certain disorders or syndromes. The objective of this paper is to summarise the current knowledge of biomarkers for anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). METHODS: Findings in biomarker research were reviewed by a task force of international experts in the field, consisting of members of the World Federation of Societies for Biological Psychiatry Task Force on Biological Markers and of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Anxiety Disorders Research Network...
July 15, 2016: World Journal of Biological Psychiatry
Peter-Wolfgang Meyer, Laura E Müller, Arne Zastrow, Ilinca Schmidinger, Martin Bohus, Sabine C Herpertz, Katja Bertsch
Traumatic experiences have severe impact on the autonomous nervous system. Heart rate variability (HRV) is a reliable psychophysiological marker for the autonomous nervous system functioning. Reduced vagally mediated HRV has been found in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, in some studies, in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). In this study, we compared HRV parameters of patients with PTSD, current BPD, and BPD in remission with healthy volunteers in a 5 min resting-state electrocardiogram recording...
September 2016: Journal of Neural Transmission
Ihori Kobayashi, Joseph Lavela, Kimberly Bell, Thomas A Mellman
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with sleep disturbances including alterations in sleep stages and recently, elevated nocturnal autonomic nervous system (ANS) arousal (i.e., dominance of the sympathetic nervous system over the parasympathetic nervous system). Data suggest that sleep contributes to the regulation of ANS activity. In our previous ambulatory heart rate variability (HRV) monitoring study, strong relationships between sleep and nocturnal ANS activity in resilient participants (i...
October 1, 2016: Physiology & Behavior
Belinda J Liddell, Andrew H Kemp, Zachary Steel, Angela Nickerson, Richard A Bryant, Natalino Tam, Alvin Kuowei Tay, Derrick Silove
BACKGROUND: Cumulative exposure to potentially traumatic events (PTEs) increases risk for mental distress in conflict-affected settings, but the psychophysiological mechanisms that mediate this dose-response relationship are unknown. We investigated diminished heart rate variability (HRV) - an index of vagus nerve function and a robust predictor of emotion regulation capacity - as a vulnerability marker that potentially mediates the association between PTE exposure, age and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychological distress and aggressive behavior, in a community sample from Timor-Leste - a post-conflict country with a history of mass violence...
2016: BMC Psychiatry
Ori Koresh, Zeev Kaplan, Joseph Zohar, Michael A Matar, Amir B Geva, Hagit Cohen
It is unclear whether the poor autonomic flexibility or dysregulation observed in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) represents a pre-trauma vulnerability factor or results from exposure to trauma. We used an animal model of PTSD to assess the association between the behavioral response to predator scent stress (PSS) and the cardiac autonomic modulation in male and female rats. The rats were surgically implanted with radiotelemetry devices to measure their electrocardiograms and locomotor activity (LMA)...
July 15, 2016: Behavioural Brain Research
Paul A Dennis, Eric A Dedert, Elizabeth E Van Voorhees, Lana L Watkins, Junichiro Hayano, Patrick S Calhoun, Andrew Sherwood, Michelle F Dennis, Jean C Beckham
OBJECTIVE: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been linked to elevated heart rate (HR) and reduced heart rate variability (HRV) in cross-sectional research. Using ecological momentary assessment and minute-to-minute HRV/HR monitoring, we examined whether cross-sectional associations between PTSD symptom severity and HRV/HR were due to overall elevations in distress levels or to attenuated autonomic regulation during episodes of acute distress. METHODS: Two hundred nineteen young adults (18-39 years old), 99 with PTSD, underwent 1 day of Holter monitoring and concurrently reported distress levels via ecological momentary assessment...
September 2016: Psychosomatic Medicine
Kimberly T Green, Paul A Dennis, Lydia C Neal, Andrea L Hobkirk, Terrell A Hicks, Lana L Watkins, Junichiro Hayano, Andrew Sherwood, Patrick S Calhoun, Jean C Beckham
OBJECTIVE: Exposure to trauma-related cues has been associated with a prolonged decrease in heart rate variability (HRV) under laboratory conditions, however the relationship between PTSD symptoms and HRV has not been evaluated during everyday life. The present study sought to determine whether Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms reported during everyday life were related to reduced HRV. METHODOLOGY: Eighty-three young adults with PTSD underwent 24-hour Holter monitoring, during which PTSD symptoms were measured using ecological momentary assessment (EMA)...
March 2016: Journal of Psychosomatic Research
Helané Wahbeh, Elena Goodrich, Elizabeth Goy, Barry S Oken
OBJECTIVE: This study's objective was to evaluate the effect of two common components of meditation (mindfulness and slow breathing) on potential mechanistic pathways. METHODS: A total of 102 combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were randomized to (a) the body scan mindfulness meditation (MM), (b) slow breathing (SB) with a biofeedback device, (c) mindful awareness of the breath with an intention to slow the breath (MM+SB), or (d) sitting quietly (SQ)...
April 2016: Journal of Clinical Psychology
Arpi Minassian, Adam X Maihofer, Dewleen G Baker, Caroline M Nievergelt, Mark A Geyer, Victoria B Risbrough
IMPORTANCE: Disrupted autonomic nervous system functioning as measured by heart rate variability (HRV) has been associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is not clear, however, whether reduced HRV before trauma exposure contributes to the risk for development of PTSD. OBJECTIVE: To examine whether HRV before combat deployment is associated with increased risk of a PTSD diagnosis after deployment when accounting for deployment-related combat exposure...
October 2015: JAMA Psychiatry
Gregory F Lewis, Laurel Hourani, Stephen Tueller, Paul Kizakevich, Stephanie Bryant, Belinda Weimer, Laura Strange
Decreased heart rate variability (HRV) is associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression symptoms, but PTSD's effects on the autonomic stress response and the potential influence of HRV biofeedback in stress relaxation training on improving PTSD symptoms are not well understood. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of a predeployment stress inoculation training (PRESTINT) protocol on physiologic measures of HRV in a large sample of the military population randomly assigned to experimental HRV biofeedback-assisted relaxation training versus a control condition...
September 2015: Psychophysiology
Robert E Brady, Joseph I Constans, Brian P Marx, James L Spira, Richard Gevirtz, Timothy A Kimbrell, Teresa L Kramer, Jeffrey M Pyne
Physiological assessment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) presents an additional avenue for evaluating the severity of PTSD symptoms. We investigated whether the presence of a high number of uncommon symptoms attenuated the relation between self-reported PTSD symptoms and heart rate variability (HRV). Participants were 115 veterans from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom with or without PTSD. Symptom over-report was assessed using the Miller Forensic Assessment of Symptoms Test (M-FAST)...
2015: Journal of Trauma & Dissociation
Claus Reinsberger, Rani Sarkis, Christos Papadelis, Chiran Doshi, David L Perez, Gaston Baslet, Tobias Loddenkemper, Barbara A Dworetzky
Disturbances of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) are common in neuropsychiatric disorders. Disease specific alterations of both sympathetic and parasympathetic activity can be assessed by heart rate variability (HRV), whereas electrodermal activity (EDA) can assess sympathetic activity. In posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), parasympathetic HRV parameters are typically decreased and EDA is increased, whereas in major depressive disorder (MDD) and dissociation, both parasympathetic and sympathetic markers are decreased...
January 2015: Clinical EEG and Neuroscience: Official Journal of the EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society (ENCS)
Veronica Kirsch, Frank H Wilhelm, Lutz Goldbeck
BACKGROUND: Psychophysiological alterations such as elevated baseline levels and hyperresponsivity in cardiac, electrodermal, and facial muscle activity have been observed in adults with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are only few, inconclusive studies investigating psychophysiological responses in children and adolescents with PTSD. OBJECTIVE: This cross-sectional study sought to examine if autonomic variables, facial electromyography (EMG), and self-reported anxiety at baseline, while listening to neutral and idiosyncratic trauma scripts, differ between minors with a trauma history and PTSD, and a traumatized control (TC) group without PTSD...
2015: European Journal of Psychotraumatology
S Sammito, B Thielmann, P Zimmermann, I Böckelmann
INTRODUCTION: PTSD is associated with comprehensive disruption of several neurobiological regulation mechanisms and with a disruption in the parasympathetic-sympathetic balance. This can be measured with the heart rate variability (HRV). METHODS: A systematic review in PubMed using the keywords "hrv" or "heart rate variability" and "PTSD" or "posttraumatic stress disorder" was performed. RESULTS: Overall 15 original studies were identified...
January 2015: Fortschritte der Neurologie-Psychiatrie
Hiroki Uratani, Kohzoh Yoshino, Mieko Ohsuga
Following natural disasters, accidents, and shocking incidents, some children experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The respiration control method, which relaxes the body and mind, may efficiently prevent PTSD. Therefore, we developed a stuffed toy that leads children's respiration using the up-and-down movement of the abdomen to help them relax. We investigated the most appropriate respiration period for children's relaxation. Data from studies on heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback training suggest that breathing at the respiration period at which HRV is the highest is effective for improving chronic diseases...
2014: Conference Proceedings: Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Ihori Kobayashi, Joseph Lavela, Thomas A Mellman
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with heightened nocturnal autonomic nervous system (ANS) arousal and sleep disturbances. It has been suggested that relationships between sleep and nocturnal ANS activity are influenced by insomnia; however, investigation of this relationship has been limited in PTSD. This study examined nocturnal ANS activity and its relationship to sleep in PTSD and resilience. Physically healthy young adult African Americans with current PTSD (n = 20) or who had never had PTSD despite exposure to a high-impact traumatic event (resilient, n = 18) were monitored with ambulatory electrocardiograms and actigraphy for 24-hr periods...
December 2014: Journal of Traumatic Stress
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