PTSD : from neurobiology to pharmacological treatments

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic debilitating psychiatric disorder characterized by symptoms of re-experience, avoidance, and hyperarousal that can arise immediately or many years after exposure to a traumatic event and injury. Although extensive research has been done over the past 30 years, the etiology of PTSD remains largely unknown. Several neurobiological systems have been implicated in the pathophysiology and vulnerability for developing PTSD; however, first-line pharmacotherapies are limited.

A Double-Blinded, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Sub-Dissociative Dose Ketamine Pilot Study in the Treatment of Acute Depression and Suicidality in a Military Emergency Department Setting

Background: Rates of completed suicide in the military have increased. Options are limited for acute relief of depression and suicidal ideation. Traditional treatments' effects take weeks to months. A novel, rapid, therapeutic target has emerged with the N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist ketamine. Previous studies suggest that a single dose of intravenous (IV) ketamine rapidly alleviates depression and suicidality.

Oxytocin administration enhances insula responses during social reward processing in post-traumatic stress disorder

Rationale: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating psychiatric condition that can develop after experiencing a traumatic event. Although effective treatment is available, including exposure therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy, about 30% of patients with PTSD do not respond to these treatments. Therefore, currently available treatments need to be improved. Intranasal administration of the neuropeptide oxytocin is a promising candidate for medication-enhanced psychotherapy (MEP), as oxytocin has been shown to increase sensitivity for social reward.

Repeated intranasal oxytocin administration as early preventive intervention for PTSD : A randomized controlled trial.

As posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in approximately 10% of trauma-exposed individuals, there is an urgent need for effective preventive interventions for PTSD [1]. Oxytocin administration was previously found to beneficially influence neurobiological and socio-emotional factors associated with increased PTSD risk [e.g. 2, 3]. Therefore, we hypothesized that intranasal oxytocin administration early post-trauma in trauma-exposed individuals could prevent PTSD development .

Memory consolidation reconfigures neural pathways involved in the suppression of emotional memories

The ability to suppress unwanted emotional memories is crucial for human mental health. Through consolidation over time, emotional memories often become resistant to change. However, how consolidation impacts the effectiveness of emotional memory suppression is still unknown. Using event-related fMRI while concurrently recording skin conductance, we investigated the neurobiological processes underlying the suppression of aversive memories before and after overnight consolidation.

Cognitive behavioural therapy for psychopathology in relatives of missing persons : study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial

Background: It is hypothesized that the grieving process of relatives of missing persons is complicated by having
to deal with uncertainty about the fate of their loved one. We developed a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
with mindfulness that focuses on dealing with this uncertainty. In this article, we elucidate the rationale of a pilot
randomised controlled trial (RCT) for testing the feasibility and potential effectiveness of this CBT for reducing

Art Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy for Combat-Related PTSD : A Randomized Controlled Trial

This randomized controlled trial was designed to determine if art therapy in conjunction with Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) was more effective for reducing symptoms of combat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than CPT alone. Veterans (N = 11) were randomized to receive either individual CPT, or individual CPT in conjunction with individual art therapy. PTSD Checklist–Military Version and Beck Depression Inventory–II scores improved with treatment in both groups with no significant difference in improvement between the experimental and control groups.

Excessive Alcohol Use In Crisis-affected Societies : A Weak Spot of Global Mental Health Research and Practice

It is a positive development that researchers dealing with conflict-affected populations have become mindful of the complex interplay of contributing factors concerning the development and perpetuation of mental health disorders, and their role in the transmission and perpetuation of violence. For instance, it has become common to integrate multiple contextual, intra-, and inter-individual factors using conceptual frameworks (e.g., adaptations of Bronfenbrenner’s socio-ecological model) and longitudinal research strategies (e.g Amone-P’olak et al., 2013).

Can a Few Sprays of Oxytocin Improve Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

Intranasal oxytocin may be a safe and effective pharmacological mechanism for improving effectiveness of trauma-focused psychotherapies—but caution is warranted.

The hormone oxytocin is well known for its effects on social and reproductive processes. Intranasal oxytocin (IN OT) has made a splash in the media and scientific community because of its potential for treating autism, schizophrenia, social anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While sometimes lauded as a panacea, IN OT is not without its critics (Leng & Ludwig, 2016), and for good reasons.

Odor-induced recall of emotional memories in PTSD : Review and new paradigm for research

It is clinically well known that olfactory intrusions in PTSD can be a disabling phenomena due to the involuntary recall of odor memories. Odorants can trigger involuntary recall of emotional memories as well have the potential to help diminishing emotional arousal as grounding stimuli. Despite major advances in our understanding of the function of olfactory system, the study of the relation of olfaction and emotional memory is still relatively scarce.