National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine
State Institution "The National Research Center for Radiation Medicine"

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ISSN 2304-8336 (Print)

Problems of Radiation Medicine and Radiobiology


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[Article in Ukrainian]
K. Loganovsky, N. Zdanevich
SI “National Research Center for Radiation Medicine of Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine”, Kyiv

The aim was to identify characteristic neuropsychiatric symptoms and assess cognitive function, cerebral hemodynamics and bioelectric activity of the brain in the Chornobyl accident survivors with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study included 241 people, 219 of whom have been diagnosed with PTSD according to the DSM-IV criteria, among them 115 liquidators (34 had been diagnosed with ARS), 76 evacuees from the Chornobyl exclusion zone, 28 veterans of the war in Afghanistan, as well as 22 healthy unexposed individuals. Psychometric studies included BPRS, GHQ-28, SDS, Spielberger-Hanin anxiety scale, PTSD Scales (IDA, IES, IES-R, Mississippi Scale), and the developed by us the “Postradiation” PTSD Questionnaire. Neurometric assessment was performed with FSS and EDSS. Cognitive functions were assessed using RAVLT and SKT. Neurophysiological studies included computerized electroencephalography and cerebral vascular Doppler. The key psychological peculiarity of “postradiation” PTSD is an anticipating stress, i.e. the projection of fear and danger to the future. “Postradiation” PTSD includes radiation-associated social and psychological components. PTSD in the victims of the Chornobyl disaster is characterized by more severe psychopathology than the Afghan war veterans with PTSD and closed head injury. The surivvors, especially, the liquidators, assess their health worse, have more manifestations of depression, as well as personal and reactive anxiety. The “Postradiation” PTSD Questionnaire has been developed and validated. Neurocognitive deficit is particularly apparent in the liquidators and include impaired memory and attention, autitory-verbal memory and learning, proactive and retroactive interference, short-term verbal memory, cerebellar and stem symptoms, as well as intellectual changes. In the liquidators with PTSD the thickness of the intimamedia component of common carotid arteries (M±SD: 1.2±0.2 mm) is biggest that may indicate an increased risk of stroke. In the liquidators, especially those who had been diagnosed with ARS, the highest rates of stenosis of the common and left internal carotid arteries, were registered indicating a significant risk of atherosclerosis. Linear systolic blood flow velocity in the right brain middle, left brain posterior, and left vertebral arteries is reduced in the liquidators. Bioelectrical brain activity in the survivors of the Chornobyl disaster with PTSD, especially in the liquidators with ARS is characterized by a decrease of beta-power and some reduction of theta-power and increase — the alpha-power. This may indicate a disorder of information transfer between neocortical and hippocampal pyramidal cells and the deep brain structures.

Key words: ionizing radiation, Chornobyl disaster, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychometry,


Probl. Radiac. Med. Radiobiol. 2011. Issue 16. P. 138–149.

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