March 2018

19th – 25th March

Investigation of Prazosin for PTSD-associated Sleep Disturbances

Prazosin, a medication for high blood pressure, is often used to treat PTSD-associated night terrors. Researchers wanted to investigate these effects further and conducted the largest and most widespread trial to date. 304 veterans suffering from PTSD were recruited to the study and were randomly assigned to either 26 weeks with Prazosin or placebo. Interestingly no significant differences were found for sleep quality, night terrors or clinical improvement between Prazosin and placebo at 10-week and 26-week assessment time points. This result suggests that Prazosin may be an inappropriate treatment for PTSD, however it should be noted that this sample had lower blood pressure, less alcohol consumption and fewer benzodiazepine prescriptions than previous studies looking at Prazosin for PTSD. In conclusion, further research with a larger sample size may be beneficial in revealing Prazosin’s benefits for certain PTSD subset groups.

A summary of the study can be found here.


12th – 18th March

King’s Centre for Military Health Research – Veterans’ Mental Health – From Enlistment to Retirement


On Thursday 15th March, the HVRT attended an event hosted by the King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) and sponsored by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) at King’s College, London entitled Veterans’ Mental Health – From Enlistment to Retirement. The event included talks by military personnel, academics, and representatives of the Ministry of Defence and Service charity sector. HRH Prince Harry of Wales, Air Vice-Marshall Ray Lock, Forces in Mind Trust, and the RT Hon Tobias Ellwood MP spoke at the event regarding the mental health of military personnel before, during and after service. To read our report on this event, please click here.


5th-11th March 

Meta-analysis of Long-Term Psychotherapy for PTSD

Psychotherapies, such as cognitive processing therapy (CPT), cognitive therapy (CT) and prolonged exposure (PE), are commonly used techniques when treating PTSD. A meta-analysis of 32 randomised controlled trials looking at psychotherapy effect on PTSD, with long term follow ups of at least 6 months were used. The aim was to examine the long-term efficacy of various PTSD therapies. Results of the meta-analysis reveal that psychotherapies on a whole were effective in treating PTSD and were maintained at long-term follow up. No psychotherapy differed in effectiveness from pre-treatment to long-term follow up, however, exposure based therapies, such as PE, had a significantly greater effect size from post-treatment to long-term follow up compared to other interventions. Overall the results provide promising data regarding the long-term impact of evidence-based psychotherapy treatments for PTSD.

The article can be accessed here.


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