This is a long thread about brain development / brain maturity / brain areas impacted by PTSD / war-related PTSD and risk factors as well as prison statistics as to Veterans, including scientific sources. 🧵⬇️
1/ Before you read, note that John Thuesen:
- was aged 20 when he was deployed to a dangerous combat zone in Iraq
- was exposed to combat about 7 months (= prolonged)
- despite his young age was used as a machine gunner permanently, although he actually was a radio operator
2/ - never was thoroughly or treated by the VA for a severe PTSD with full-blown severe clinical symptoms, which are well documented from 2006 until 2 days before the tragedy.

i. Brain Development and Maturity

„The scientists found that the region with the greatest relative
3/ prediction power about brain maturity was the right anterior PREFRONTAL CORTEX.“

nih.gov/news-events/ni…

„Longitudinal neuroimaging studies demonstrate that the adolescent brain continues to mature well into the 20s.“

„Evidence suggests that, in the PREFRONTAL CORTEX,
4/ this this does not occur until the early 20s or later.“
The PREFRONTAL CORTEX coordinates higher-order cognitive processes and executive functioning. Executive functions are a set of supervisory cognitive skills needed for goal-directed behavior, including planning,
5/ response inhibition, working memory, and attention.“
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…

ii. Brain areas impacted by PTSD:
the PREFRONTAL CORTEX (PFC) - which is immature at least until the early 20s or later - and the amygdala.
6/ „Studies of response to threat in people with PTSD show:
• A hyper reactive amygdala
• A less activated medial PFC
In other words, the amygdala reacts too strongly to a potential threat while the medial PFC is impaired
7/ in its ability to regulate the threat response.“
psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-mi…
Consequence: Young people are more vulnerable to PTSD due to the immaturity of the PFC.
8/ iii. War-related PTSD - Facts

"A number of factors have been shown to increase the risk of PTSD in the veteran population, including (in some studies) YOUNGER AGE at the time of the trauma [...] LONGER DEPLOYMENTS [...], and LACK of social SUPPORT [...]."
9/ „According to a study conducted by the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research, less than half of returning veterans needing mental health services receive any treatment at all, and of those receiving treatment for PTSD and major depression,
10/ less than one-third are receiving evidence-based care.“

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
11/ You can read a meta-analysis of risk factors here:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
Among other risks, a YOUNG AGE, COMBAT SPECIALIZATION, WITNESSING DEATHS AND KILLINGS and PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO COMBAT are risk factors which make a person more vulnerable to PTSD.
12/ (i.v.) National Statistics on PTSD in Iraq/Afghanistan-Veterans, Alcohol Abuse and Domestic Violence:
13/ Crime statistics as to former soldiers suffering from PTSD:

„1 in 10 on Death Row Is a Military Veteran With PTSD“

nymag.com/intelligencer/…
14/ „The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that there are about 180,000 United States veterans in our prisons and jails. […] About half of incarcerated veterans have a mental health disorder, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.“

prisonfellowship.org/2018/11/why-so…
15/ Note: PTSD can be a chronic condition which lasts years, but can be cured by means of therapy, for example behavioral therapy.

Instead US prefers to kill men, which were made victims by deployment to war,
16/ inappropriate use in combat, ignorance, negligence and lack of treatment for PTSD post-war. The ones accountable for this fatal failure and multiple victims are easy to see. Once you see it, you cannot unsee it.

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More from @OfThuesen

Aug 20
Friends of John and the John Thuesen Project have recorded a song and made an animation video about him. Sometimes dreams become reality... 🌻 You can watch the video on vimeo: vimeo.com/741466630 1/
And if you like the song, you can download it for free from soundcloud: soundcloud.com/john-thuesen-p…. We are grateful for donations, if you enjoy our work. They are used for John's legal matter only: johnthuesenproject.com/how-can-you-he… #PTSD #Justice #DeathRow
You also can watch the video here: medium.com/@johnthuesensf…, but you can read John's friend's experiences too.

Enjoy. 😊
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