Steroid Injection May Prevent PTSD
A steroid injection givenِ shortly afterِ a traumatic event couldِ reduce theِ risk thatِ the victim willِ laterِ develop post-traumatic stress disorder, a newِ study suggests.
In theِ study, whichِ involved 17 trauma patients, thoseِ who received injections ofِ the steroid hormone cortisol withinِ sixِ hours ofِ their injury wereِ significantly lessِ likely thanِ those notِ givenِ injections toِ develop PTSD severalِ months later, theِ researchers said.
The findings suggest thereِ mayِ beِ a window ofِ opportunity immediately followingِ a trauma duringِ which action canِ beِ taken toِ prevent PTSD, saidِ the researchers, whoِ areِ now conducting a wider study.
The study will be published in the October issue of the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology.
PTSD and cortisol
In theِ newِ study, Zohar andِ colleagues triedِ toِ mimic theِ natural response ofِ the body byِ administering hydrocortisone, theِ pharmaceutical form ofِ cortisol.
The study involved patients whoِ visited anِ emergency department afterِ traumatic events, including car crashes andِ work-related accidents.
After threeِ months, threeِ ofِ the eightِ patients inِ the placebo group wereِ diagnosed withِ PTSD.
Preventing bad memories
Because theِ participants inِ the study hadِ beenِ in accidents ofِ everyday life, it’sِ unclear whetherِ a shot ofِ hydrocortisone wouldِ haveِ the sameِ effect onِ someone whoِ experienced a differentِ type ofِ trauma, suchِ asِ one related toِ combat, Zohar said.
It’s possibleِ people whoِ areِ predisposed toِ PTSD haveِ abnormalities inِ the wayِ theirِ brains release cortisol, Zohar said.
By injecting hydrocortisone, theِ researches mayِ beِ augmenting theِ stress response andِ thus helping toِ prevent PTSD.
Cortisol also may act to prevent the formation of memories, Zohar said.
For people withِ PTSD, theِ pastِ isِ alwaysِ present, Zohar said.
The individuals areِ haunted byِ their traumatic experience.
Zohar saidِ heِ andِ his colleagues areِ now carrying outِ a larger trial usingِ hydrocortisone onِ trauma victims..