Role of neuroinflammation and sex hormones in war-related PTSD

Elsevier, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, Volume 434, 15 October 2016
Mendoza C., Barreto G.E., Avila-Rodriguez M., Echeverria V.

The susceptibility to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is greatly influenced by both innate and environmental risk factors. One of these factors is gender, with women showing higher incidence of trauma-related mental health disorders than their male counterparts. The evidence so far links these differences in susceptibility or resilience to trauma to the neuroprotective actions of sex hormones in reducing neuroinflammation after severe stress exposure. In this review, we discuss the impact of war-related trauma on the incidence of PTSD in civilian and military populations as well as differences associated to gender in the incidence and recovery from PTSD. In addition, the mutually influencing role of inflammation, genetic, and sex hormones in modulating the consequences derived from exposure to traumatic events are discussed in light of current evidence.