Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological condition that can develop in individuals who have experienced a traumatic event. It is characterized by intense fear and anxiety and can cause physical changes in the body that help to protect from danger.
Trauma can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
During the initial impact or emergency stage of PTSD, individuals may experience fear, shock, disbelief, confusion, numbness, and anxiety.
The body’s natural response is to produce hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine in order to prepare for a fight-or-flight response.
These hormones can cause a number of physical reactions, such as an increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and increased blood pressure.
But after the initial shock and hormonal reaction, the long-term effects of trauma may present themselves in the common symptoms of PTSD.
Common symptoms of PTSD include recurring nightmares, flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and feeling on edge. Other symptoms of PTSD may include avoidance of certain activities or places, an exaggerated startle response, feelings of guilt or shame, and suicidal thoughts.
PTSD can also lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, chest pain, and stomach problems.
Treatment for PTSD can include medications and various types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and group therapy.
New research suggests an old blood pressure drug can help with PTSD
Recent research has found that Clonidine, a 50-year-old blood pressure drug, could be an effective treatment for mitigating the effects of PTSD.
Scientists from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University have conducted studies on mice and neurons from human stem cells to explore the role of the drug in consolidating a traumatic memory.
Results from these studies have indicated that Clonidine interferes with a key protein called cofilin, which is essential in forming memories.
Furthermore, further research has suggested that Clonidine is more effective than its sister drug, Guanfacine, in reducing PTSD symptoms. As such, large-scale clinical trials of Clonidine in PTSD are warranted.
Read More > Blood Pressure Drug Holds Promise for Treating PTSD
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