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February 21, 2016

WCM-Q Grand Rounds Explores the Healing Power of the Arts

The capacity for the arts to enhance understanding of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was discussed in the latest installment of Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar’s (WCM-Q) medical lecture series, the Grand Rounds.
Dr. Rodney Sharkey, Associate Professor of English at WCM-Q, said that through the arts and storytelling, particularly in the context of the “talking cure” of classical 19th century psychoanalysis developed by Sigmund Freud, people affected by PTSD might be able to start to come to terms with their experiences and begin to heal.

Much of the latest research into PTSD has focused on neurobiological changes to brain structures such as the amygdala and the hippocampus, which are involved in emotion, memory and motivation. Researchers have attempted to discover specific genetic traits that make some people more susceptible to PTSD and other anxiety disorders, and have even conceptualized a drug that could ‘turn off’ parts of the brain to effectively eradicate fear.

Some recent research, however, has acknowledged the limitations of a purely neurobiological approach to understanding PTSD, explained Dr. Sharkey.

The Grand Rounds, developed by WCM-Q’s Division of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), provides a platform for expert speakers to engage with healthcare professionals in the community to disseminate knowledge of the latest developments in medical technology, research and best practice.
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