In a study by Dr. Alon Zaslaver and research associate Dr. Yifat Eliezer at Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Genetics Department discovered that worms suffer from PTSD. In their study they used the C. elegans worm because it only has 302 neuron cells which enabled the researchers to pinpoint where the memory was stored. This information will allow researchers to use their findings to gain a better understanding of the molecular changes that take place within individual memory neurons and the privation-mode responses they provoke, to alleviate and possibly cure PTSD triggers, such as odor.
What is interesting about this study, is that even basic life, such as a worm, can associate the past, present and future. This means that they have some form of memory or can “think.” If a worm can suffer from a form of PTSD then so can other animals. This gives animal behavior consultants and trainers new insight as to how to treat animals that have suffered from a trauma in their lives. It points out that rehabilitation is more complex than many people may think.