Science News about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
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- NIMH’s Dr. Aleksandra Vicentic: Sleep Brain Wave Key to Conquering Fear Memories
- Science Update March 08, 2013
An NIMH-funded research study in rats identifies a specific group of cells in the brainstem whose activation during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep helped in eradicating unwanted memories, paving the way for future therapeutics for these disorders.
- Threat Bias Interacts with Combat, Gene to Boost PTSD Risk
- Press Release February 13, 2013
Excess attention to avoidance of threat – depending on the situation – can increase risk for PTSD, suggests a new study.
- President Obama Signs Executive Order to Improve Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military FamiliesExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
- Science Update August 31, 2012
President Obama signed an Executive Order directing key federal departments to expand suicide prevention strategies and take steps to meet the current and future demand for mental health and substance abuse treatment services for veterans, service members, and their families.
- Couple’s Therapy Appears to Decrease PTSD Symptoms, Improve RelationshipExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
- Science Update August 14, 2012
Among couples in which one partner was diagnosed as having posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), participation in disorder-specific couple therapy resulted in decreased PTSD symptom severity and increased patient relationship satisfaction, compared with couples who were placed on a wait list for the therapy, according to a study in the August 15 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.
- Suspect Gene Variants Boost PTSD Risk after Mass Shooting
- Science Update December 01, 2011
College students exposed to a mass shooting were 20-30 percent more likely to later develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms if they harbored a risk version of a gene, NIMH-funded researchers have discovered.
- Light Switches Brain Pathway On-and-Off to Dissect How Anxiety Works
- Science Update April 18, 2011
Scientists, for the first time, have switched anxiety on-and-off in active animals by shining light at a brain pathway. Instinctively reclusive mice suddenly began exploring normally forbidding open spaces when a blue laser activated the pathway – and retreated into a protected area when it dimmed. By contrast, anxiety-like behaviors increased when an amber laser inhibited the same pathway.
- Nurturing Newborn Neurons Sharpens Minds in Mice
- Press Release April 04, 2011
Adult mice engineered to have more newborn neurons in their brain memory hub excelled at accurately discriminating between similar experiences – an ability that declines with normal aging and in some anxiety disorders. Boosting such neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus also produced antidepressant-like effects when combined with exercise, in the study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
- Little-known Growth Factor Enhances Memory, Prevents Forgetting in Rats
- Press Release January 26, 2011
A naturally occurring growth factor significantly boosted retention and prevented forgetting of a fear memory when injected into rats' memory circuitry during time-limited windows when memories become fragile and changeable. In the study funded by the National Institutes of Health, animals treated with insulin-like growth factor (IGF-II) excelled at remembering to avoid a location where they had previously experienced a mild shock.
- Stress Hormone Receptors Less Adaptive in Female Brain
- Science Update August 09, 2010
A study in rats has revealed striking gender difference in the brain’s stress response that could shed light on women’s proneness to mood and anxiety disorders. Female rat brain cells were more sensitive to a key stress hormone than males’, which could adapt to the hormone in a way female cells couldn’t.
- Non-Invasive Technique Blocks a Conditioned Fear in Humans
- Press Release December 09, 2009
Scientists have for the first time selectively blocked a conditioned fear memory in humans with a behavioral manipulation. Participants remained free of the fear memory for at least a year. The research builds on emerging evidence from animal studies that reactivating an emotional memory opens a 6-hour window of opportunity in which a training procedure can alter it.
- PTSD Treatment Efforts for Returning War Veterans to be Evaluated
- Science Update September 30, 2009
Joan Cook, Ph.D., of Yale University and colleagues have been awarded funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to evaluate the implementation of two evidence-based psychotherapies for treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans. The grant addresses the NIH Challenge Grant topic “Strategies to Support Uptake of Interventions within Clinical Community and Settings.”
- Expert Panel Addresses High Rates of Smoking in People with Psychiatric Disorders
- Science Update February 18, 2009
Numerous biological, psychological, and social factors are likely to play a role in the high rates of smoking in people with psychiatric disorders, according to the report of an expert panel convened by the National Institute of Mental Health. The report reviews current literature and identifies research needed to clarify these factors and their interactions, and to improve treatment aimed at reducing the rates of illness and mortality from smoking in this population.
- Consortium Moves Quickly to Study Resilience Following Hurricane Ike
- Science Update December 31, 2008
A consortium of research programs funded by NIMH to conduct post-disaster mental health research mobilized this year following hurricane Ike to study the factors that influence resilience after disasters.
- Virtual Reality, Psychotherapy, Show Promise in Treating PTSD Symptoms; Civilian Access to Care Remains a Concern
- Science Update May 07, 2008
WASHINGTON, DC, May 7 — Early data from an NIMH-sponsored double-blind study of 24 war veterans shows a marked reduction in acoustic startle — the reflex response to sudden loud sounds — in those treated with virtual reality exposure therapy combined with either d-cycloserine, an antibiotic that has been shown to facilitate the extinction of fear memories; pill placebo; or the anti-anxiety medication alprazolam (Xanax).
- Past Child Abuse Plus Variations in Gene Result in Potent PTSD Risk for Adults
- Science Update March 18, 2008
A traumatic event is much more likely to result in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults who experienced trauma in childhood – but certain gene variations raise the risk considerably if the childhood trauma involved physical or sexual abuse, scientists have found. The research was conducted with funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, and others.
- Mental Disorders Persist Among Hurricane Katrina Survivors
- Science Update January 24, 2008
More residents affected by Hurricane Katrina are enduring mental disorders than was initially determined a few months after the storm, according to a study published online January 8, 2008, in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. The trend runs counter to the typical pattern of recovery after a natural disaster, in which the prevalence of mental disorders among the survivors gradually decreases and fades out after about two years.
- Research-based Principles May Help Improve Mental Health Recovery Following Mass Trauma
- Science Update January 14, 2008
Experts on trauma-related research and medical practices from around the world recently identified five principles to guide mental health care efforts immediately or shortly after a mass trauma, such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack. In a related commentary, NIMH scientist Farris Tuma, Sc.D., MHS, discusses how these principles may help determine effective mental health care for large numbers of people following an emergency, and how best to deliver it. The article and commentary were published in the Winter 2007 issue of Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes.
- Memory-sustaining Enzyme May Help Treat PTSD, Cognitive Decline
- Science Update November 02, 2007
Chemically blocking an enzyme in a specific area in the brain’s cortex, or outer mantle, erased a long-term memory of an aversive event that rats had learned, a study funded in part by NIMH has found.
- Internet-based PTSD Therapy May Help Overcome Barriers to Care
- Science Update November 01, 2007
NIMH-funded researchers recently completed a pilot study showing that an Internet-based, self-managed cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, with effects that last after treatment has ended.
- Stress: Brain Yields Clues About Why Some Succumb While Others Prevail
- Press Release October 18, 2007
Results of a new study may one day help scientists learn how to enhance a naturally occurring mechanism in the brain that promotes resilience to psychological stress.
- Half of Adults With Anxiety Disorders Had Psychiatric Diagnoses in Youth
- Science Update February 07, 2007
About half of adults with an anxiety disorder had symptoms of some type of psychiatric illness by age 15, a NIMH-funded study shows.
- History of Childhood Abuse or Neglect Increases Risk of Major Depression
- Science Update January 03, 2007
People who were abused or neglected as children have increased risk of major depression, which often begins in childhood and has lingering effects as they mature, according to a study funded by NIMH.
- PTSD, Depression Epidemic Among Cambodian Immigrants
- Press Release August 02, 2005
More than two decades after they fled the Khmer Rouge reign of terror, most Cambodian refugees who resettled in the United States remain traumatized, a study funded by the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has found.
- Rat Brain’s Executive Hub Quells Alarm Center if Stress is Controllable
- Press Release February 11, 2005
Treatments for mood and anxiety disorders are thought to work, in part, by helping patients control the stresses in their lives.
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- Out of Sync With the World: Body Clocks of Depressed People Are Altered at Cell LevelExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
- Nerve Stimulation for Severe Depression Changes Brain FunctionExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
- Nearly 20 Percent of Suicidal Youths Have Guns in Their HomeExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.