Clinical trial initiated to help Paris attacks victims with PTSD
Victims of the recent Paris terror attacks have been offered the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial, organised by Greater Paris University Hospitals and Canada-based McGill University, aimed at treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
According to the International Business Times, the trial will focus on the use of beta blockers to treat sufferers of PTSD. The trial is led my McGill’s Professor Alain Brunet who, for the last 12 years, has researched the use of beta blockers and their potential efficacy in patients with PTSD. According to Brunet, when combined with speech therapy, the drug can make the most traumatic memories appear less violent, and eventually dissipate.
A total of 12 hospitals across Paris will take part in the trial, with 400 participants including terrorism victims and the medical staff who looked after them. The trial will take place over six weeks, during which participants will be given the beta blocker on a weekly basis. An hour after taking the drug, they will meet with a psychotherapist and write down a description of the traumatic therapy, before reading it aloud and discussing it with the therapist.
With each passing week, it is hoped that the task of reading the memory aloud will make it gradually easier. By distancing themselves away from the memory, it becomes less immediate and visceral, allowing them to begin to remember the trauma less and less clearly.
Brunet indicates that affected by the Paris attacks who feel they may benefit from this therapy should consult their doctor.
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