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Using brain imaging to track the effects of treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), scientists have identified a brain circuit on which a frequently used and effective psychotherapy (prolonged exposure) acts to quell symptoms. The findings help explain why the neural circuit identified is a promising target for additional treatment development, including brain stimulation therapies.

In an accompanying paper, the authors also report that they have identified hallmarks in brain activity of people with PTSD that predict who will benefit from treatment. Both papers appear online July 18 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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