Therapygenetics: the 5HTTLPR as a biomarker for response to psychological therapy?

Psychiatric illnesses are under polygenic influence and are associated with interactions between genetic variants and environmental exposures.1 Gene–environment interactions might not only predict onset of disease, but genetic biomarkers might also help the clinician to select the optimal treatment for patients.2 However, there is a lack of studies on therapygenetics for psychological treatment of psychiatric diseases.

Sleeping Worries Away or Worrying Away Sleep? Physiological Evidence on Sleep-Emotion Interactions

Recent findings suggest that sleep might serve a role in emotional coping. However, most findings are based on subjective reports of sleep quality, while the relation with underlying sleep physiology is still largely unknown. In this study, the impact of an emotionally distressing experience on the EEG correlates of sleep was assessed. In addition, the association between sleep physiological parameters and the extent of emotional attenuation over sleep was determined.

Psychosis in posttraumatic stress disorder

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with the occurrence of secondary psychotic features, complicating treatment and resulting in negative outcomes. Some authors have suggested that PTSD with secondary psychotic features (PTSD-SP) is a diagnostic subtype of PTSD or even a separate diagnostic entity. However, other studies suggest that these psychotic features are just a form of psychiatric comorbidity, or a more severe form of re-experiencing symptoms, possibly related to a more severe or to specific kinds of traumatic events.

Cortisol and PTSD Symptoms Among Male and Female High-Exposure 9/11 Survivors

Only a few studies have examined cortisol response to trauma-related stressors in relation to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We followed a sample of high-exposure survivors of the attacks on September 11, 2001 (9/11, 32 men and 29 women) and examined their cortisol response after recalling the escape from the attack, 7 and 18 months post-9/11. PTSD symptoms and saliva cortisol levels were assessed before and after trauma recollection. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that PTSD symptoms and male sex predicted increased cortisol response following recollections.

Book review: Trauma counselling: Theories and interventions

Reviews the book Trauma counselling: Theories and interventions by Lisa Lopez Levers (editor). ISBN: 978-0-8261-0683-4

Treatment of sexual trauma dissolves contamination fear: case report

In patients with co-morbid obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), repetitive behavior patterns, rituals, and compulsions may ward off anxiety and often function as a coping strategy to control reminders of traumatic events. Therefore, addressing the traumatic event may be crucial for successful treatment of these symptoms.
In this case report, we describe a patient with comorbid OCD and PTSD who underwent pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy.

Intimate Partner Violence in Rwanda: The Mental Health of Victims and Perpetrators

Exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) is a common feature of women living in low- and middle-income countries. Several studies have shown a significant association between IPV against women and mental health in both developed and in low- and middle-income countries. In postconflict settings, the relationship between IPV and mental health is likely more complex, given the high levels of violence experienced by the population as a whole.

The role of major depression in neurocognitive functioning in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) frequently co-occur after traumatic experiences and share neurocognitive disturbances in verbal memory and executive functioning. However, few attempts have been made to systematically assess the role of a comorbid MDD diagnosis in neuropsychological studies in PTSD.

Hotspots in Trauma Memories and Their Relationship to Successful Trauma-Focused Psychotherapy: A Pilot Study

Imaginal exposure is an essential element of trauma-focused psychotherapies for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Exposure should in particular focus on the “hotspots,” the parts of trauma memories that cause high levels of emotional distress which are often reexperienced. Our aim was to investigate whether differences in the focus on hotspots differentiate between successful and unsuccessful trauma-focused psychotherapies. As part of a randomized trial, 45 PTSD patients completed brief eclectic psychotherapy for PTSD.

Bereavement and Mental Health after Sudden and Violent Losses : A Review

This paper reviews the literature on the psychological consequences of sudden and violent losses, including disaster and military losses. It also reviews risk and resilience factors for grief and mental health and describes the effects and possible benefit of psychosocial interventions. The review shows gaps in the literature on grief and bereavement after sudden and violent deaths. Still, some preliminary conclusions can be made.