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Research At Hopkins Gives Insight Into "Shell Shock"

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In the early 20th century, tens of thousands of British soldiers returned home from World War I battles with a mysterious condition that left them racked with anxiety and in psychological distress. It was thought to be caused by the blast of artillery shells, so people called it “shell shock”. A 100 years later, scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have found what they believe to be the physical evidence of “shell shock” in the brains of veterans.

We spoke about it in January with Dr. Vassilis Koliatsos, professor of pathology, neurology, and psychiatry at the Hopkins School of Medicine. He looked at the brains of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who had died, not in battle, but after they returned home. 

This segment originally aired on January 16, 2015.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.