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   2011, Vol. 43 Issue (07) : 792-797     DOI:
Changes in Hippocampus Morphology, Cognitive Function and Coping Style Induced by Chronic Military Stress
WANG Li-Jie;SUN Qiu-De;YAN Jin;LIU Ai-Li;DONG Jian-Shu;LIU Jia-Jia;WANG Jian-Ping
(1 Research Center of Mental Health of PLA; Department of Psychology, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China)
(2 107 Hospital of People′s Liberation Army, Yantai 264002, China)
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Abstract  Many organic functions will be changed undergoing chronic strong stress, especially in the continuous activation of the HPA axis, which results in successive high level of glucocorticoid in blood. Afterward it will make hippocampal neurons become atrophic and cognitive function impairment, which has been confirmed in laboratory. This investigation studied the morphological changes of hippocampus, cognitive functions and coping styles undergoing the chronic military stress.
The present investigation was intended principally to study the characteristic changes in hippocampus morphology (MRI), cognition (simple and complex cognitive function), psychological trait (State-trait Anxiety Inventory, STAI) and coping style (Characteristic Coping Style Questionnaire, CCSQ) in chronic strong military stress. 572 soldiers were divided into the group of investigation (A) in accordance with Anxiety factor score in SCL-90 and the control group (B). In group A, very soldier who’s the anxiety factor score was over 3. In control group, the soldiers were selected via matching method according to that in group A.
The results showed that the level of plasma cortisol in group A and B were higher significantly higher than normal and that in group A was were higher significantly higher than group B. After standardization, there was no significant structural difference between right and left hippocampus in same subject. But, the hippocampal structural atrophy in group A and there was significant structural difference between group A and group B. In cognitive function, there were no significant change in the simple cognitive assignments between group A and B but significant difference in negative coping style between group A and B. In STAI, the estimative scores of state anxiety and trait anxiety in group A were significantly higher than group B and normal. The estimative scores of state anxiety in group B were significantly higher than normal. The estimative score of positive coping style in group A was significantly lower and that of negative coping style was significantly higher than group B and normal. The estimative score of positive coping style in group B was significantly higher than normal.
The present findings indicated that chronic strong military stress can induce hippocampal structural atrophy and insult in characteristic changes in some psychological trait, cognitive function and behavior.
Keywords military stress      STAI      CSQ      MRI      Cortisol      cognitive function      hippocampus     
Corresponding Authors: YAN Jin   
Issue Date: 30 July 2011
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WANG Li-Jie,SUN Qiu-De,YAN Jin,LIU Ai-Li,DONG Jian-Shu,LIU Jia-Jia,WANG Jian-Ping. Changes in Hippocampus Morphology, Cognitive Function and Coping Style Induced by Chronic Military Stress[J]. ,2011, 43(07): 792-797.
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