Researchers to Study Soldiers, Stress

Soldiers from the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division will help Yale University researchers who are studying how prolonged periods of stress affect the brain.

The study will help scientists understand the underlying biology of post-traumatic stress disorder (search), said Maj. Paul Morrissey, chief of the behavioral health department at Fort Drum, located 90 miles north of Syracuse near the U.S.-Canadian border.

Researchers will use magnetic resonance imaging to obtain detailed images of the brain as they study soldiers who were in combat and who have developed PTSD, combat veterans who did not develop the disorder and soldiers who have not yet deployed, said Deane Aikins, a professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine.

A pilot study will begin in March or April involving about 10 soldiers in each of the categories. Researchers hope to expand the study to include about 50 soldiers in each of the three groups.

The Army hopes to gain insight into what separates the soldiers who see combat and get PSTD from those who do not develop the disorder, Morrissey said.