Adverse Childhood Events, PTSD, Infectious Encephalopathies and Immune-Mediated Disease
Robert C. Bransfield, MD, published a study examining how adverse childhood events (ACE), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and infectious encephalopathies are linked to immune-mediated disease in the journal, Healthcare. Bransfield reviewed supporting data and found that each of these issues correlates with intrusive symptoms and pathology of the temporal lobe.
The study demonstrates that ACE and PTSD can result in a decreased mental ability to distinguish external danger vs. safety. As well, infectious encephalopathies are associated with a breakdown in adaptive immunity and decreased immune capacity to determine internal danger vs. safety. Each of the three circumstances correlates with a diminished ability to differentiate danger vs. safety and adapt accordingly.
Bransfield identified reciprocal exchanges between ACE, PTSD, and infectious encephalopathies with subsequent enduring immune activation causing immune dysregulation, chronic hyperarousal, activation of the stress response, and impairments of the fear recognition and response neural circuits, hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, amygdala, and hippocampus.
These pathophysiological developments can result in a wide range of chronic neuropsychiatric and somatic symptoms/diseases. Bransfield concludes that having a better understanding of the psychodynamic, neurological, neuroimmune, inflammatory, and autoimmune components of this synergistic process can create opportunities for increased treatment efficacy.