Noted in The Yeshiva World:
In a review of three separate meta-analyses, investigators at Arizona State University found that patients who participated in at least 21 minutes daily of aerobic exercise experienced a reduction in anxiety (Petruzzello SJ et al; 1991). A more recent study from Canadian researchers at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg noted that regular exercise may help people who suffer from OCD, phobias and other psychiatric disorders. When the investigators examined studies of anxiety disorder and exercise dating back to 1981, they found that strength training, running, walking, and other forms of aerobic exercise help relieve mild to moderate depression and may also help treat anxiety and substance abuse.
I’m looking forward to seeing how my daughter’s dissertation study comes out. And if you have a child who has, or may have, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, you may want to consider enrolling them in a similar study on the benefits of exercise.
Recruiting Participants for Study on the Benefits of Exercise on Childhood and Adolescent Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
A number of blog readers responded to a recruitment notice I posted a few months ago for a doctoral student, so I thought I’d post another one in case you or someone you know would be interested. It’s a study on the effects of exercise on the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and has received institutional review board approval:
Participants sought for a dissertation study exploring the benefits of different types of exercise on children and adolescents who have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Children and adolescents who have experienced a stressful or traumatic event may qualify. The study has received approval from the Institutional Review Board of Hofstra University.
Children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 17 may be eligible to participate, and participation in this study will not affect any other type of treatment or services that the participants receive. Participants will follow a videotaped exercise routine to complete three 40-minute exercise sessions per week for eight weeks. Participants are encouraged to exercise as much as possible, but will be required to exercise a minimum of 12 sessions over eight weeks. Three to six 20-minute interviews will be conducted prior to beginning the exercise intervention. Interviews will also be conducted every two weeks during the exercise program as well as two weeks and one month after the end of the exercise intervention.
Participants who complete the study and follow-ups will receive $200.
For additional information please contact Jennifer Schwartz, M.S. via telephone at 516-336-9608 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Adams reports that the defense attorney for a former student accused of a Columbine-style plot against a high school will plead that the young man was insane due to Bipolar Disorder and PTSD due to a history of child abuse and bullying:
Philip C. Bay, the former student accused of a plot against Landstown High School, began “the countdown to terror” on April 16, 2007, the day of the Virginia Tech massacre, Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey Bryant told jurors as Bay’s trial got underway Monday afternoon.
Bryant called Bay “the mastermind, the bomb-maker and the recruiter for this suicide mission,” and said Landstown notebooks, calendars and photos will help prove Bay set out to kill at least 30 people.
He read journal entries he said were Bay’s, including this: “I will be armed to the teeth with guns, knives and everything else. I will kill, kill, kill. You have my word.”
An attorney helping defend Bay, Eric Korslund, said the defense will argue he was insane at the time of the crimes. He suffered from untreated bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder from being bullied and abused as a child, he said.
Bay’s attorney, James Broccoletti, said during jury selection that Bay’s mental condition was the central issue.
“The defense is that Philip Bay was legally insane at the time of the acts alleged in the indictment,” Broccoletti told potential jurors. “That means that because of a mental disease or defect, he did not understand the nature, the character or the consequences of his actions or could not understand right from wrong.”
Bay was 17 when he was charged in 2009 in connection with what authorities called a plot against the school. He faces 11 counts of manufacturing or possessing an explosive device with intent to cause harm; possessing a weapon of terrorism with intent to terrorize; two counts of possessing a sawed-off shotgun; soliciting or recruiting for an act of terrorism; and committing, conspiring or aiding in the commission of an act of terrorism.
Read more on Hampton Roads.
Bipolar Disorder can, in severe forms, be accompanied by psychotic thinking. But if planning took place over time measured in weeks or longer, I think the defense has its work cut out for it if it plans to claim that at no point was the young man sane and fully aware that what he was planning to do was wrong.
I’d really be curious to read any psychiatric or psychological evaluation of the defendant conducted at the time of his arrest.
More information on the use of the insanity defense in Virginia can be found here. He may wind up being incarcerated for longer than he might for a straight prison sentence, depending….
Rick Nauert PhD describes some new research that links genetics to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and likelihood that cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) will be effective:
In their new study appearing in Biological Psychiatry, Dr. Richard Bryant and colleagues assessed whether serotonin transporter genotype predicted a change in patients’ PTSD severity following treatment.
Specifically, patients with PTSD were classified according to their genotype, and they received eight weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Approximately one third of patients do not respond to this treatment, and this study has now demonstrated that there may be a genetic basis for not responding to this therapy.
Dr. Bryant explained: “Patients with PTSD who carried the short allele of the serotonin transporter gene promoter responded more poorly to treatment than other PTSD patients. This study highlights that the serotonin system is implicated in responding to cognitive behavior therapy.”
Read more on PsychCentral.
To read the research report, the citation is:
Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Jun 15;67(12):1217-9.
Preliminary evidence of the short allele of the serotonin transporter gene predicting poor response to cognitive behavior therapy in posttraumatic stress disorder.
Bryant RA, Felmingham KL, Falconer EM, Pe Benito L, Dobson-Stone C, Pierce KD, Schofield PR.
School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. email@example.com
OBJECTIVE: This study was intended to assess the extent to which the low-expression alleles of the serotonin transporter gene promoter predict poor response to cognitive behavior therapy in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). METHOD: Forty-five patients with PTSD underwent an 8-week exposure-based cognitive behavior therapy program and provided mouth swabs or saliva samples to extract genomic DNA and classify individuals according to four allelic forms (S(A), S(G), L(A), L(G)) of the 5-HTT-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR). We determined whether the 5-HTTLPR genotype predicted change in PTSD severity following treatment (n = 45) and 6 months later (n = 42). RESULTS: After controlling for pretreatment PTSD severity and number of treatment sessions, the 5-HTTLPR low-expression genotype group (S or L(G) allele carriers) displayed more severe PTSD 6 months following treatment relative to other patients. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests a genetic contribution to treatment outcome following cognitive behavior therapy and implicates the serotonergic system in response to exposure-based treatments in PTSD.
Dan Frosch reports:
A decade ago, Colorado became one of the earliest states to legalize medical marijuana. Its neighbor New Mexico did so more recently. But that does not mean the two Western states agree on all the medicinal merits of cannabis.
Both states allow marijuana to be used to treat the symptoms of a variety of diseases, like AIDS and cancer. When it comes to treating post-traumatic stress disorder, however, New Mexico says yes to medical marijuana, while Colorado’s answer is a resounding no.
Read more in The New York Times.