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“Irritable Heart”

Posted on March 9, 2015 by in The OFI Blog

NMNH fellow Ashely Bowen-Murphy presenting her research in front of fellows and interns.

NMAH fellow Ashley Bowen-Murphy presenting her research in front of fellows and interns.

National Museum of American History (NMAH) fellow Ashley Bowen-Murphy recently gave a presentation to Smithsonian fellows and interns. Her academic exploits involve looking at “irritable heart,” a disorder among Civil War veterans. In layman’s terms, it could be associated with what we would term now as PTSD, but it’s not necessarily related.

This interesting cross-disciplinary research covers medicine, anthropology, and Civil War history. She investigates irritable heart by examining military medical records found in the National Archives. This research helps shed light on procedures of Civil War medicine and will add to the greater understanding of trauma that veterans have after war.