Reconsolidation as an Aid in PTSD Treatment

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The increasing rates of diagnosis for PTSD call for development of an effective treatment protocol to alleviate suffering associated with the symptoms of PTSD. The phenomena of reconsolidation possibly offers a cognitive process which may be therapeutically manipulated to benignly alter traumatic memories into less threatening memories. Biological components and mechanisms of reconsolidation are being progressively discovered. Therapeutic modalities constructed in the past have shown limited efficacy, but with greater knowledge from research may be restructured so as to provide effective relief from PTSD for patients. Reconsolidation as an Aid in PTSD Treatment Over the last quarter century, the rise in warfare and displaced populations (refugees), and natural as well as technologically-driven disasters (e.g., chemical or nuclear) has helped fuel a dramatic increase in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) across the globe (MacFarlane, 2000; Rogge, 2003). While pharmacological interventions are successful in temporarily relieving many of the symptoms associated with PTSD such as depression and anxiety, they have shown little effectiveness in altering the persistent traumatic memories that drive psychological symptoms for sufferers (Sharpless & Barber, 2011). However, recent neuroscience research on a brain process known as reconsolidation may improve the prognosis for recovery from PTSD. By incorporating the phenomena of reconsolidation into therapeutic approaches for PTSD it is hoped that a fundamental manipulation of patient's traumatic memories into altered, less stressful memories may occur. Consequently, the bases for anxiety, depression, and avoidance behaviors stemming from PTSD traumata could be red... ... middle of paper ... ... J. P. (2011). A clinician's guide to PTSD treatments for returning veterans. Professional Psychology: Research And Practice, 42(1), 8-15. doi:10.1037/a0022351 Sloan, D. M., Bovin, M. J., & Schnurr, P. P. (2012). Review of group treatment for PTSD. Journal Of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 49(6), 689-701. doi:10.1682/JRRD.2011.07.0123 US Department of Defense. (2014). Casualties [Data File]. Retrieved from http://www.defense.gov/news/casualty.pdf US Department of Veterans Affairs. (2014a). PTSD: National Center for PTSD. Treatment of the Returning Iraq War Veteran. Retrieved from http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treatment/vets/treatment-iraq-vets.asp US Department of Veterans Affairs. (2014b). PTSD: National Center for PTSD. Prolonged Exposure Therapy. Retrieved from http://www. ptsd.va.gov/public/treatment/therapy-med/prolonged-exposure-therapy.asp

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