trauma

Trauma of 9/11 appears to have altered brains, study suggests

Brain Scan,MRI Brain Scan PTSD

Magnetic resonance imaging of the brains of healthy adults more than three years after Sept. 11, 2001, shows areas that have less gray matter volume in those who were near ground zero on 9/11, compared with those who were much farther away. This is three views of the brain areas that have lower gray matter volume in the 9/11-exposed group. Notably, all of these areas (which show up brighter in this image) are associated with the processing of emotion.

Healthy adults who were close to the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, have less gray matter in key emotion centers of their brains compared with people who were more than 200 miles away, finds a new Cornell study.

"This suggests that really bad experiences may have lasting effects on the brain, even in healthy people," said Barbara Ganzel, the study's lead researcher and postdoctoral fellow at Cornell's College of Human Ecology.