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McLean researcher

Dissociative Disorders and Trauma Research Program

Dissociative symptoms are associated with trauma-spectrum disorders. Our scientists aim to identify and understand the brain mechanisms and genes contributing to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dissociative identity disorder (DID). Ultimately, we hope to develop new treatment approaches for these conditions.

The concept of dissociation has a long, fascinating history. At the turn of the 19th century, Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud independently noted a relationship between childhood abuse and dissociative symptoms in women. Since then, theorists from many disciplines have helped us better understand this connection, and dissociation as a response to trauma is viewed in the 21st century through a truly interdisciplinary lens. Recent work has incorporated a neurobiological perspective based on data derived from neuroimaging studies.

Our clinician-scientists will use state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques to understand how dissociative disorders are related to PTSD and other conditions.

The Dissociative Disorders and Trauma Research Program was founded in 2013.

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