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MDMA and PTSD treatment: “PTSD: From novel pathophysiology to innovative therapeutics”

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Abstract

There is a range of therapies to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but treatment resistance remains high, with many sufferers experiencing the chronic condition. Engagement in trauma-focused psychotherapy is difficult for some patients with PTSD, especially those with extreme affect dysregulation associated with recall of traumatic memories. In recent years there have been a number of neuroscientific and clinical studies examining the potential role for adjunctive drug-assisted psychotherapy using 3,4,-methylenedioxmethamphetamine (MDMA) as a treatment for PTSD. re-visiting of a novel approach to trauma-focused psychotherapy with Used just two or three times, under careful medical supervision and specialised psychotherapy support MDMA appears to facilitate the recall of traumatic memories without the user feeling overwhelmed by the negative affect that usually accompanies such memories. This therapeutic approach began in the 1980s and was subsequently shelved in the midst of public health concerns surrounding the recreational use of the drug ecstasy. When pharmaceutical grade MDMA is used in a clinical setting it does not share the same risk profiles as ecstasy. Recent phase one neurophysiological studies and phase two clinical studies are showing promise as a potential new approach to managing treatment-resistant PTSD.

Sessa, B. (2016). MDMA and PTSD Treatment. Neuroscience Letters. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2016.07.004
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