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What is an exaggerated startle response?

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An exaggerated startle response is a heightened physical reaction to frightening stimuli that may be a symptom of combat post-traumatic stress disorder, according to HealthyPlace.com. It is also a symptom of a genetic disorder that accompanies stiffness in some babies, states MedicineNet.

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A normal startle response may include sweating, faster breathing, tense muscles, fear and a racing heart, explains HealthyPlace.com. This response can be more intense and last longer than usual in a person who has combat PTSD. An example of an exaggerated startle response in a person who has combat PTSD is ducking after hearing a car's backfire. Some actions that can elicit an exaggerated startle response in a person who has a genetic disorder include touching the person's nose, making noises or suddenly jolting the person's chair, notes MedicineNet.

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