Cannibinoids are PTSD treatment, too

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Memory remains, but feeling of fear is less or gone, shows experimental study in people
Web edition : Sunday, February 15th, 2009
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The first experimental study in humans connecting beta-blockers and memory suggests these drugs, usually taken to treat heart conditions, can also wipe away the emotions associated with frightening memories. The power of such memories could be dampened when a person thinks about the traumatic events after taking the drugs, scientists say.

Clinical psychologist Merel Kindt of the University of Amsterdam and her colleagues report the new finding online February 15 in Nature Neuroscience.The research builds on a clinical study published in the May 2008 Journal of Psychiatric Research that suggested beta-blockers helped patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD.

"Kindt's work confirms our clinical results and goes further by showing beta-blockers also have this effect" on people who had no previous history of mental health issues, comments Alain Brunet, psychiatrist at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute at McGill University in Montreal and a coauthor of the PTSD study.

Kindt and her colleagues showed subjects a photograph of a spider, which was accompanied by an electric shock, conditioning the participants to have a fearful memory of the image. Later, some participants were given a beta-blocker drug, propranolol, and others were given a placebo before being exposed to the image again. The beta-blocker group's fear response was greatly reduced or even eliminated when the subjects were shown the spider photograph 24 hours after taking the drugs. "The people did not forget seeing the photograph of the spider," Kindt says. "But the fear associated with the image was erased."

On the other hand:

Is tetris the post-traumatic wonder cure

You might imagine that the blocky graphics and incessant beeps of Tetris tend to increase stress levels - but now psychologists think that a game or two of the classic computer game may actually help sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Playing Tetris after traumatic events could reduce the flashbacks experienced in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), preliminary research by Oxford University psychologists suggests.

The researchers report in PLoS ONE that for healthy volunteers, playing Tetris soon after viewing traumatic material in the laboratory can reduce the number of flashbacks to those scenes in the following week. They believe that the computer game may disrupt the memories that are retained of the sights and sounds witnessed at the time, and which are later re-experienced through involuntary, distressing flashbacks of that moment.

"This is only a first step in showing that this might be a viable approach to preventing PTSD," said Dr Emily Holmes of the Department of Psychiatry, who led the work. "This was a pure science experiment about how the mind works from which we can try to understand the bigger picture. There is a lot to be done to translate this experimental science result into a potential treatment."

And then, there's:

Since 1995, The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has disbursed over three million dollars to worthy research and educational projects.

We need your support because only together we can make a difference.

Donations can be restricted to specific project funds or given to MAPS' general operational fund.

MDMA Psychotherapy Research

click here for main MDMA page

MAPS has a comprehensive $5 million, 5-year strategy, outlined in a Clinical Plan to develop MDMA into an FDA-approved prescription medicine as an adjunct to psychotherapy. Developing MDMA into an FDA-approved prescription medicine is MAPS' top priority, for reasons fully discussed in the Clinical Plan.

MAPS' MDMA psychotherapy research agenda was featured most recently in a thorough and remarkably favorable cover article in the November 25, 2007 issue of the Washington Post Sunday Magazine, with the article entitled, "The Peace Drug." Prior to that, MAPS MDMA research has been discussed in an April 1, 2004 news story on ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, in a May 13, 2004 report in the scientific journal Nature, in a May 2, 2005 article in Newsweek, Ecstasy: A Possible New Role for A Banned Club Drug and in a May 15, 2006 article in the Boston Globe, A Good Death.

For 2008, MAPS is seeking to raise an additional $50,000 for writing up the results of our US MDMA/PTSD study being conducted in Charleston, SC by Dr. Michael and Annie Mithoefer, for refining our treatment manual and for developing our therapist training program. Donations of any amount are most appreciated. This study is designed to explore the use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in 21 subjects with treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and was approved after 18 years of long and expensive struggle.This is the first FDA-approved study of the therapeutic use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The final subject will be treated in July, 2008. Then we'll analyze the data and write up the results for publication.

Internationally, MAPS is sponsoring an MDMA/PTSD study in Israel in subjects who have war and/or terrorism-related PTSD, led by Moshe Kotler, MD, former chief psychiatrist of the Israeli Defense Forces. This study is has full government approval and has already enrolled the first subject.

And (lastly) from Joan Bello:

For everyone who suffers from PTSD - for whatever reason - Marijuana Therapy has been shown to be very effective and safe. Not like the talking therapies which have a dismal record of helping trauma victims, and nothing like the dangerous, numbing, and addictive, but legal drugs that cost a fortune and deaden one's mind. BTW: it just so happens, that starting in 2004, the Israeli army began to conduct controlled studies with Marijuana Therapy for PTSD. They heard tell from their soldiers that it worked. Preliminary findings actually resulted in government-issue THC for their soldiers. That's right!! Israeli soldiers are given THC as part of their rations!

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This page contains a single entry by writch published on February 20, 2009 5:33 PM.

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