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Keywords:

  • hippocampus;
  • memory;
  • posttraumatic stress disorder;
  • child abuse

Abstract

Childhood abuse is linked to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which follows abuse survivors into adulthood. This study identified the neuropsychological and neuromorphological sequelae of PTSD among prepubescently abused women. Right-handed women aged 20–40 years were placed into PTSD and abuse, abuse only, and normal control groups (n = 17 per group). Participants were screened for trauma history and psychiatric symptoms, demographically matched, and given neuropsychological tests and a magnetic resonance scan of their brain. Women with PTSD did not express significant deficits in memory performance or hippocampal volume when compared with the abuse and normal control groups.