The psychobiology of PTSD: Perspectives and reflections on the past, present, and future


  • Based on an address given as the recipient of the Pioneer Award, sponsored by Upjohn Company, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Washington, D.C., October 24, 1991


This article reviews historic, clinical, therapeutic, and research work regarding psychopathological responses to massive emotional stress. From these emerge the suggestion that post-traumatic stress disorder represents a physioneurosis. Psychophysiological and neuroendocrine investigations of the last decade are summarized, as well as the neuropsychological hypothesis the author has derived therefrom about the etiologic development of post-traumatic stress disorders. Lines of future research are suggested.