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How does trauma impact cognitive health?

Trauma can have a profound and lasting impact on cognitive health. The experience of trauma, such as physical abuse, emotional trauma, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can lead to cognitive impairments. Studies, like the one published in "Neuropsychology Review" in 2015, have shown that trauma can affect various cognitive domains, including memory, attention, and executive function.

Trauma can alter brain structure and function, particularly in regions responsible for emotional regulation and memory processing. The chronic stress resulting from trauma can also impact the hippocampus, a key brain region for memory, and the prefrontal cortex, involved in decision-making and executive function.

Additionally, trauma-related symptoms like hyper-vigilance and flashbacks can disrupt concentration and cognitive performance. Early intervention and therapeutic support are essential for mitigating the cognitive effects of trauma and helping individuals regain cognitive functioning and emotional well-being.


  1. Scott, J. C., Matt, G. E., Wrocklage, K. M., Crnich, C., Jordan, J., Southwick, S. M., ... & Krystal, J. H. (2015). A quantitative meta-analysis of neurocognitive functioning in posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychological Bulletin, 141(1), 105-140.

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