The Trauma Lines Blog

Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists

A Pill That Could Prevent Post-Traumatic Stress?

with 3 comments

One study says “yes.” Yet just not today say researchers, but hopefully one day soon.

Scientists at Northwestern University conducted studies with mice in which they exposed the animals to intensely stressful situations, and then treated them with two chemicals. The results, say researchers, were very encouraging:

In [Dr. Jelena Radulovic’s] experiment, mice were given two chemicals, known as MPEP and MTEP, within five hours of their traumatic experiences. Sure enough, the mice behaved normally.

While Radulovic knows it’s a long way from mouse experiments to human treatments, she’s hoping that future studies will pave the way for a simple therapy to prevent PTSD.

Other experts in field of traumatic stress agree that while the results are still preliminary, the results are encouraging and “very exciting.”

The goal of researchers the world over is to develop a treatment that will allow military medics to administer this pill just as they would bandages or any other first-aid supplies:

Dr. Radulovic’s approach makes sense, said [Dr. Steven Berkowitz, a PTSD expert], an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Penn Center for Youth and Family Trauma Response. The earlier you can treat someone for PTSD the better — whether it’s with medication or behavioral therapy — since it becomes increasingly difficult to reverse changes to the brain as time goes on, Berkowitz said.

What’s also encouraging about this study is that it showcases another example of how prevention is becoming more prominent in the world of mental health treatment. (For more on this subject, be sure to read our post — from all the way back in December of 2009 — titled “Prevention: An Emerging Frontier in Mental Health.”

In your opinion, will researchers ever find a way to prevent PTSD?

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Written by traumalines

January 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm

3 Responses

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  1. […] Just last week we wrote about research being done in the area of PTSD prevention. Scientists at Northwestern University conducted studies with mice in which they exposed the animals to intensely stressful situations, and then treated them with two chemicals. While trauma experts all agreed that the results were encouraging, developing a pill that could prevent PTSD is still a long way off. […]

  2. […] a way to shut off your brain’s impulses of anxiety. But like most of the ground-breaking studies we’ve discussed in this blog, the findings are still in the preliminary stages: Researchers found a certain brain […]

  3. This idea upsets me. It seems like an extension of the “date rape” drug, except in this case I can imagine abusers giving this drug to children they abuse regularly so the children don’t resist future abuse. Yech!

    Just Sayin'

    July 13, 2011 at 4:00 am


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