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The Science of Fear: Probing the Brain Circuits That Link ADHD and PTSD

ADHD and PTSD. Individuals with ADHD appear to have dysfunctional activation of the same brain structures implicated in fear, which is also true for individuals with PTSD.

This overlap may underscore the strong statistical association between the disorders — and help explain why individuals with ADHD are more likely to suffer the long-lasting psychological aftershocks of PTSD after experiencing a severe jolt of trauma.By definition, PTSD is preceded by a major traumatic event.

Though half the population may experience some lifetime trauma, the majority of people do not develop PTSD. The condition has a lifetime incident rate of 8.7 percent in the United States1.

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