and Anxiety Recovery Program at Emory Conducts New Medication Study
for Trauma Victims
anxiety and depression can result from experiencing or even witnessing
a traumatic event such as the attack of September 11, a physical assault,
or a serious car accident. Barbara Rothbaum, Ph.D., associate professor
in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University
School of Medicine and director of the Trauma and Anxiety Program, is
conducting a study using two separate medications to treat victims of
posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Persons with PTSD undergo
the torment of re-experiencing a traumatic event, resulting in nightmares,
flashbacks, emotional numbing and avoidance, sleep disturbances, exaggerated
startle reactions and hypervigilance. The anxiety can lead to depression
and relationship problems.
This study will compare the
rate of improvement in people with PTSD who are treated with either
venlafaxine extended-release, sertraline or a placebo. Venlafaxine is
an experimental medication that has been shown to be effective in treating
depression and anxiety. Sertraline is an antidepressant medication and
a member of the family of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake
inhibitors (SSRIs). Participants can experience the symptoms of PTSD
as a result of, but not limited to, traumatic events such as sexual
assault, childhood physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence, combat,
physical assault, witnessing homicides or other horrifying events, major
accidents and injuries, or major disasters. The study will last for
12 weeks after which the medication will be gradually decreased over
a three-week period.
is sponsoring the study. For more information or to volunteer, call
Emory study coordinator Andrea Blount, Ph.D., 404/778-2206.