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Traumatic Stress May Alter Boys’ and Girls’ Brains Differently

A new brain-scanning study has found that traumatic stress affects the brains of adolescent boys and girls differently, and that this information will help explain how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be treated, according to Psych Central.

We know that the biggest cause of anxiety and depression is traumatic life events. It’s estimated that 1 in 10 U.S. adults struggle with depression, and that children’s mental health disorders are increasing across the globe. Along with these numbers, substance abuse has also increased, with males having a higher risk of death and disease from drug and alcohol dependence across all age groups.

And the epidemic continues for both sexes. The unanswered question remains WHY? Some erroneously blame a chemical imbalance in the brain. Others blame genetic causes. But new research has revealed that the single biggest determinant of anxiety and depression was traumatic life events, followed by to a lesser extent, family history of mental illness, income and education levels, relationship status and other social factors. What to do about this is the even bigger question.

Growing evidence indicates that exercise triggers genes and growth factors like BDNF that recycle and rejuvenate your brain tissues; exercise is also an effective treatment for depression. A number of studies have confirmed that gastrointestinal inflammation specifically can play a critical role in the development of depression, suggesting that beneficial bacteria (probiotics) may be an important part of treatment. Other studies show that vitamins B and D may also improve depression symptoms.
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