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Blocking Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with Sleep Deprivation

Alex Constantine - August 22, 2012

By Hana Levi Julian
Arutz Shiva 7, August 20, 2012

img298198 - Blocking Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with Sleep DeprivationA new study appears to show that post-traumatic stress disorder might be prevented by staying awake after exposure to trauma.

A new scientific study by Israeli researchers appears to show that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) might be prevented by staying awake longer after trauma has occurred.

The study, led by Tel Aviv University Professor Joseph Zohar and Ben-Gurion University Professor Hagit Cohen, found that sleep deprivation for a period of six hours after exposure to a traumatic event dramatically reduced the risk of development of PTSD. Four other scientists were involved with the research as well.

The findings of the study were written up in an article entitled 'Post-Exposure Sleep Deprivation Facilitates Correctly Timed Interactions Between Glucocorticoid and Adrenergic Systems, which Attenuate Traumatic Stress Responses' and published in the June 20 issue of the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Using experimental rats in a laboratory, the two scientists compared the results between a group that was allowed to sleep after trauma, and a group that was not.

The group of rats that was forced to stay awake after a traumatic experience did not demonstrate any memory of the event later on. However, the second group that was allowed to sleep after the trauma did appear to recall their experience.

The researchers say their next step is to test the theory in a pilot study with human subjects.

Approximately 20 percent of people who experience a trauma later develop PTSD. Symptoms of the disorder include flashbacks, nightmares, paranoia and insomnia.

In the western Negev, where the population has been incessantly bombarded by shelling and rocket attacks fired by Palestinian Authority terrorists in Gaza, the statistics are far higher. As many as 85 percent of those living within reach of the constant rocket fire in the past decade have met criteria for PTSD, according to various clinical professionals.


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  1. See Elizabeth Gould at the Gould Lab at princeton university; this works for awhile but also sleep deprivation is another form of stressor, so brain regrowth is inhibited if stressor continues, according to Gould. Also found great PTSD program at psychotherapynetworker.org/com that anyone can use. See also http://www.orthomed.org/com and http://www.bastyr.edu.
    “We’re using vitamins, nutrition, herbs, acupuncture/acupressure, and deep tissue massage alexander Lowen method for PTSD, addiction, depression, and autism-like symptoms. Get your diet right for your body/mind type, and supplement for your stress deficiencies and everything starts working a lot better”. Whooaa, didn’t think I could still remember all that. . . Also keyword search “Mystery of how Social Isolation Messes with Brain Solved, by Stephanie Pappas-livescience senoir writer. This is cool because at the same time that longtitudinal study comes out saying that cannabis was responsible for brain changes listed in this study, this whole area of research gets “crowned” by this beautiful research. Another letter in the NYT’s tries to say also that cannabis is responsible for these brain changes, but wrong again; these are a consequence of long and even short term poverty and environmental stressor exposure; damage may vary with the intensity of stress person is exposed to. Cool; let’s get 1,000,000 stoners out of prison and save the future.

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