Here is some of the information I recently shared in the June newsletter. Each newsletter has a specific focus.  This newsletter is focused on PTSD and trauma. This is the final newsletter on this topic. If you would be interested in receiving my other newsletters, which include links to the studies as well as special offers and sales coupons, please head over to my contact page and sign up.


  1. Emotional numbing in PTSD with lower reactivity to pain
  2. Forgetting of trauma-like event after hydrocortisone
  3. PTSD stress symptoms relationship to chronic pain
  4. Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy for treatment-resistant PTSD
  5. Effects of diet low in excitotoxins on PTSD
  6. Melatonin alleviates PTSD-like behaviors and restores serum GABA
  7. Comparing Service dogs vs Emotional support dogs
  8. PTSD-induced inflammation impacts cardiac homeostatsis


Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing part 1: theory, procedure, and use in PTSD


1. A research paper, titled Emotional numbing in PTSD is associated with lower amygdala reactivity to pain, published in Neuropsychopharacology in Aug 2022 concludes: …the PTSD group showed a robust reduction in amygdala reactivity to shock compared to the control group. Furthermore, amygdala activation was negatively correlated with emotional numbing severity. These patterns were unique to the amygdala, and did not appear in comparison to a control region, the insula, a pivotal region for the processing of pain. To conclude, amygdala response to pain is lower in individuals with PTSD, and is associated with emotional numbing symptoms. Lower amygdala reactivity to mild pain may contribute to the “all-or-none” reaction to stressful situations often observed in PTSD.

2.  A study titled Accelerated forgetting of a trauma-like event in healthy men and women after a single dose of hydrocortisone, published in Translational Psychiatry in Aug 2022, concludes: …participants receiving hydrocortisone showed a faster reduction in daily intrusion frequency. Voluntary memory was assessed once, at the end of the week, but was unaffected by hydrocortisone Exploratory analyses indicated sex-dependent associations between intrusions and baseline estradiol and progesterone levels. In men given hydrocortisone, higher baseline estradiol levels were associated with fewer intrusions, whereas women exhibited the opposite pattern. By contrast, progesterone levels were positively associated with intrusions only in men treated with hydrocortisone. The finding suggests that hydrocortisone promotes an accelerated degradation of sensory-perceptual representation underlying traumatic intrusive memories. In addition, while sex alone was not an important moderator, the combination of sex and sex-hormone levels influenced hydrocortisone’s effects on involuntary aversive memories

3. A study titled The role of post-trauma stress symptoms in the development of chronic musculoskeletal pain and disability: a systematic review, published in European Journal of Pain in Oct 2022 concludes: Findings support a clear relationship between PTSD post-injury and future pain/disability with the potential importance of certain PTSD clusters (hyper-arousal and numbing).

4. A study titled Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Veterans with Treatment-resistant PTSD: A longitudinal Follow-up Study, published in Military Medicine in November 2022 concludes: the beneficial clinical effects of HBOT are persistent and were not attenuated at long-term follow-up of about 2 years after completion of HBOT. Additional long-term effects of the treatment were observed in social function and in decreased medication use.

5. A research article titled Effects of a diet low in excitotoxins on PTSD symptoms and related biomarkers published in Nutritional Neuroscience in Dec 2022 concludes: while no serum biomarkers significantly changed post-diet (low glutamate), cortisol increased as dietary excitotoxin consumption decreased…reduced dietary excitotoxin consumption was also associated with reduced hyperarousal symptoms. Cortisol increase was associated with reduced avoidance symptoms…

6. A study titled Melatonin alleviates PTSD-like behaviors and restores serum GABA and cortisol levels in mice, published in Psychopharmacology in Jan 2023 concluded: melatonin has a potential therapeutic effect on PTSD-like symptoms and melatonin receptor 1 mediated the effect.

7.  A study titled Therapeutic and Economic Benefits of Service Dogs versus Emotional Support Dogs for Veterans with PTSD, published in Psychiatric Services in Jan 2023 concludes: both groups appeared to benefit from having a service or emotional support dog. No significant differences in improved functioning or quality of life were observed between the groups. Those in the service dog group had a greater reduction in PTSD symptoms and better antidepressant adherence.

8.  A study titled PTSD-induced inflammation negatively impacts cardiac homeostasis, published in Physiology in May 2023 concludes: PTSD-induced cardiac stress is leading to macrophage recruitment and cardiac fibrosis which likely over time will lead to deterioration of myocardial function.


An article titled Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: part 1 - theory, procedure and use in PTSD, published by Cambridge University Press in Jun 2022 “reviews the theory behind how EMDR works, how it is conducted, the evidence supporting its use in the treatment of PTSD and its approved indications and contraindications.”

Here is some of the information I recently shared in the November newsletter. Each newsletter has a specific focus.  This newsletter is focused on PTSD and trauma. If you would be interested in receiving my newsletters, which include links to the studies as well as special offers and sales coupons, please head over to my contact page and sign up.


  1. Trauma treatment through Art Therapy
  2. Trauma-induced heme release increases susceptibility to bacterial infection
  3. Epigenetics: long term sequelae of childhood trauma
  4. Diet quality and exercise in older veterans with PTSD
  5. Association between Irritable Bowel Syndrome and PTSD
  6. Potential neuromarkers for differentiating PTSD subgroups
  7. PTSD increases the efficiency of memory of trauma-related information
  8. The prevalence of PTSD among dementia caregivers
  9. Hair cortisol concentrations in trauma not related to PTSD
  10. Tai Chi and Qigong for trauma-exposed populations


  1. New book titled Working with Complexity in PTSD
  2. A Framework to Combat PTSD


1. A research paper, titled Trauma Treatment through Art Therapy (TT-AT): A “women and trauma” group in Tanzania, published in International Journal of Art Therapy in Aug 2021. Six different art therapy workshops developed to address: Emotion regulation, relationships, self-identity, gradual exposure to trauma, integration of trauma & personal resources. Conclusion:  Short-term art therapy interventions was useful with women in low-income countries.

2.  A study titled Trauma-induced heme release increases susceptibility to bacterial infection published in JCI Insight in Oct 2021 concludes:  Infection is a common complication of major trauma that causes significantly increased morbidity and mortality. ..tissue trauma both impaired bacterial clearance and was associated with significant elevations in plasma heme levels. While neutrophil (PMN) recruitment to the lung in response to Staphylococcus aureus was unchanged after trauma, PMN cleared bacteria poorly.

3. A study titled Epigenetics of childhood trauma: Long term sequelae and potential for treatment, published in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews in Jan 2022 highlights:
⁃    Childhood trauma is a major risk factor for neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar, anxiety disorders, psychosis, and schizophrenia
⁃    Long-term epigenetic changes occur in the brain of adults with a history of childhood trauma

4. An intriguing study titled Diet quality and exercise in older veterans with PTSD: a pilot study, published in TBM (Society of Behavioral Medicine) in 2021 concludes:  Supervised exercise intervention was not associated with changes in diet quality. Results revealed that the diet quality of older veterans with PTSD is poor, and while the exercise intervention improved health through exercise, it did not make veterans any more likely to adopt a more healthful diet.

5. A research article titled Associations between Irritable Bowel Syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder among veteran populations, published in OpenBU in 2021 concludes: PTSD in combat-exposed veterans did not incur a risk for association with IBS but did so for GERD.  Specifically, PTSD in combat-exposed veterans incurred a risk for the association GERD without esophagitis and was positively correlated to the severity of PTSD symptoms. Also, the re-experiencing symptom subtype of PTSD was associated with a higher rate of IBS

6. A study titled Brain Responses to a Self-compassion Induction in Trauma Survivors with and without Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, published in Open Research Exeterin Mar 2022 concludes: ... findings provide evidence for potential neural biomarkers for quantitatively differentiating PTSD subgroups (full PTSD, no PTSD, subsyndromal PTSD).

7.  A study titled Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Increase the Efficiency of Memory Functioning for Trauma-Related Information, published in Cambridge University Press in Feb 2022 concludes: contrary to expectations, the findings suggest that the encoding of trauma-related information in PTSD is relatively independent from the availability of cognitive resources. Thus, rather than reflecting an increased allocation of cognitive resources to the processing of threatening information, memory biases in PTSD  appeared to be supported by an enhanced efficiency of their processing.

8. A study titled The Prevalence of PTSD among Dementia Caregivers, published in ScholarWorks University of Montana in 2022 concludes: Almost one out of four dementia caregivers might be experiencing acute stress disorder/PTSD. This prevalence rate is greater than the general US population, nurses, emergency medical responders, and veterans.

9. A study titled Trauma-related but not PTSD-related increases in hair cortisol concentrations in military personnel published in Journal of Psychiatric Research in Jun 2022 concludes:
⁃    Hair cortisol was higher in trauma-exposed compared to non-exposed service members
⁃    Hair cortisol did not differ between PTSD patients and trauma-exposed controls
⁃    Within PTSD patients, hair cortisol did not correlate with symptom severity
⁃    Enhanced cumulative cortisol output indicates trauma exposure there than PTSD.

10. A study titled Tai Chi and Qigong for trauma-exposed populations: A systematic review published in Mental Health and Physical Activity in Mar 2022 concludes:
⁃    Tai Chi and/or Qigong appears to be safe, feasible, and acceptable for individuals post trauma
⁃    Tai Chi and/or Qigong may improve well-being and functioning and reduce post-trauma symptoms.



Here is some of the information I recently shared in the May newsletter. Each newsletter has a specific focus.  This newsletter is focused on PTSD. If you would be interested in receiving my newsletters, which include links to the studies as well as special offers and sales coupons, please head over to my contact page and sign up.


  1. Giving thanks lowers PTSD severity
  2. The role of self-control demands
  3. Association of C-reactive Protein genetic variations on symptoms
  4. Aerobic exercise effects on women with and without PTSD
  5. Massage decreases stress for Veterans with PTSD
  6. Reuptake inhibitors affect MDMA-assisted psychotherapy
  7. Bright Light Treatment for combat related PTSD
  8. Functional neuroimaging in PTSD
  9. Is EMDR effective as treatment for PTSD?
  1. Book titled: In the Aftermath of the Pandemic
  2. World Health Organization includes PTSD and complex PTSD in ICD-11


1. A research paper, published in Oct 2020 titled Giving Thanks is Associated with Lower PTSD Severity: A Meta-Analytic Review in Journal of Happiness Studies, found a a moderate negative relationship between gratitude and PTSD severity

2.  A study titled Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Conduct Problems: The Role of self-control demands, published in Journal of Traumatic Stress in Oct 2020, concluded: dysregulated behavior may, ironically, stem from individuals’ concerted efforts to control and manage overwhelming symptoms. Self-control demands may be a common factor that accounts for a broad range of functional impairments associated with PTSD.

3. A study titled Association of CRP genetic variation with symptomatology, cognitive function, and circulating pro inflammatory markers in civilian women with PTSD, published in Journal of Affective Disorders in Jan 2021, explored the association of C-reactive Protein genetic variations with blood pro-inflmmatory protein levels, symptomatology, and cognitive function, and further explored the moderating effect of childhood maltreatment history, in adult patients with PTSD. The results revealed a significant genotype by treatment interaction for more severe PTSD avoidance symptoms.

4. A study titled Aerobic exercise reduces anxiety and fear ratings to threat and increases circulating endocannabinoids in women with and without PTSD, published in Mental Health and Physical Activity in Nov 2020, concluded: 1) aerobic exercise reduced anxiety and fear ratings to unpredictable and predictable threats 2) circulating concentrations of endocannabinoids increased following aerobic exercise 3) mood states improved following aerobic exercise in women with PTSD, 4) aerobic exercise exerts psychological benefits in women with PTSD.

5. A research article titled Veterans with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder are Less Stressed Following Massage Therapy, published in Current Research in Complementary & Alternative Medicine in Aug 2020, concluded: the massage group had lower PTSD scores, fewer sleep disturbances, and expressed less intent of self-harm. In a follow-up one moth later, the massage group was no longer showing the improvement noted at the end of the study, although they continued to express less intent of self-harm. This highlights immediate positive effects of massage on memory, stress and heart rate and long-term effects on PTSD symptoms, sleep, and self-harm ideation. The absence of follow-up effects highlights the importance of continuing massage therapy (stimulation of pressure receptors) for these positive effects to persist.

6. A study titled Discontinution of medications classified as reuptake inhibitors affects treatment response of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, published in Psychopharmacology, concluded: recent exposure to antidepressant drugs that target reuptake transporters may reduce treatment response o MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.

7. An study titled Bright Light Treatment of Combat-Related PTSD: A randomized Controlled Trial, published in Military Medicine in Jan 2021, concluded: short-term efficacy of bright light treatment on the primary variables (Clinician Assessed PTSD Scale and Clinical Global Impressions Scale) with clinical relevance (i.e.e, treatment response) in veterans with chronic PTSD who did not report extremely high habitual light exposure. No significant effects were found for anxiety, depression, or sleep disturbance.

8.  An article, published in The American Journal of Psychiatry in February 2021, titled Functional Neuroimaging in PTSD: From Discovery of Underlying Mechanisms to Addressing Diagnostic Heterogeneity proposes: The cause of limited treatment efficacy in PTSD may lie not only in the treatments themselves but in the heterogeneity within the diagnosis of PTSD. PTSD is currently defined by exposure to a wide variety of traumatic events and by a broad constellation of physical, affective, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms. Improving the diagnostic specificity of PTSD would yield more homogeneous patient samples and increase the likelihood of identifying clinically meaningful neurobiological markers, which could in turn serve as objective, measurable targets for novel and specific treatments. In trying to address the problem, functional neuroimaging studies have become central to efforts to characterize neural markers of PTSD.

9. A study titled Is EMDR Effective in Treatment of PTSD? published in Family Physicians Inquiries Network, Inc in 2021 concludes: In adults with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) appears as effective as the standard of care (trauma-based cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT]) in improving PTSD. EMDR may be minimally to moderately superior to CBT in decreasing intrusion, arousal, anxiety, and post traumatic symptoms of PTSD.



  1.  There is a new book by John C. Markowitz titled In the Aftermath of the Pandemic: Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD, published by Oxford Press in 2021. It is available as an e-book or paperback from Google books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and Books-A-Million and runs from $14.60 to $29.99.
  2. The World Health Organization (WHO) ICD-11 now includes a distinction between the diagnoses of PTSD and complex PTSD (CPTSD). Several studies have indicated that this distinction is reliable and valid across various treatment services, communities and nations….The inclusion of a trauma-focused intervention is a common factor in the most successful treatments for PTSD symptoms. It is expected that as compared to PTSD, CPTSD may require a longer course of treatment and/or benefit from a greater diversity or type of interventions which include a focus on disturbances in self-organization.

Here is some of the information I recently shared in an October newsletter. Each newsletter has a specific focus.  This newsletter is focused on PTSD and trauma. If you would be interested in receiving my newsletters, please head over to my contact page and sign up.


  1. Survivors of COVID-19 at risk of PTSD
  2. Metabolic connectivity PET study on EMDR efficiency
  3. Systematic review of effects of online EMDR
  4. Self-administered EMDR therapy for PTSD
  5. Complex PTSD separate condition from PTSD
  6. Centrality and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder symptoms
  7. New blood tests may give more accurate PTSD diagnoses
  8. Chronic inflammation removes motivation
  9. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD
  10. Neuromuscular fatigue and PTSD


I receive a weekly update on anything published on the internet that includes information about PTSD and trauma.  I try to glean the best of the information and provide a brief synopsis of the information. If you come across any information that you think would be good to share, please also feel free to pass that information along to:

1. A commentary, published in Global Health Research and Policy in Jun 2020 titled Survivors of COVID-19 are at high risk of post-traumatic stress disorder suggests: Exposure to infectious disease epidemics results in a particular type of psychological trauma, which could be categorized into three groups. The first is directly experiencing and suffering from the symptoms and traumatic treatment. The second is witnessing of patients who suffer from, struggle against, and die of the infectious disease, which has a direct impact on fellow patients, family members of patients, or people who directly provide aids and care for the patients. The third is experiencing the realistic or unrealistic fear of infection, social isolation, exclusion, and stigmatization which directly affects patients, family members, care and help providers, or even the general public….With considerations of the already large and still increasing number of people exposed to the current COVID-10, we believe it urgent to provide mental health service targeted at prevention of PTSD to survivors and other people exposed to COVID-19. Possible strategies include, but are not limited to, health education, psycho-social support, counseling service to the general population, as well as early intervention, including psycho-social support, psychotherapies, and pharmacological treatments to vulnerable and high-risk groups.

2.  A study titled Involvement of the cerebellum in EMDR efficiency: a metabolic connectivity PET study in PTSD, published in European Journal of Psychotraumatology in 2020 concludes: The posterior cerebellum and its metabolic connectivity with the precuneus are involved in the clinical efficiency of EMDR in PTSD.

3. A systematic review titled PTSD treatment in times of COVID-19: a systematic review of the effects of online EMDR, published in Psychiatry Res in Aug 2020 concludes: only one trial was identified--an uncontrolled open trial which showed promising results.

4. A study titled Self-administered EMDR therapy: potential solution for expanding the availability of psychotherapy for PTSD or unregulated recipe for disaster? published in BJPsych Open in 2020 suggests:  There is emerging evidence that self-administered psychological therapies, such as those accessed via online and mobile applications, are efficacious for many mental illnesses and increase access to treatment. Online and mobile applications offering self-help tools for eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, an internationally recommended treatment for PTSD, are already widely distributed to the public.

5. A research article titled Focused treatment outcome for complex PTSD patients: results of an intensive treatment program published in European Journal of Psychotraumatology in 2020 explains that Complex PTSD has been incorporated in the 11th edition of the ICD-11 as a mental health condition distinct from PTSD and finds the majority of patients classified as having Complex PTSD strongly benefit from intensive trauma-focused treatment.

6. A study titled Change in Event Centrality and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms During Intensive Treatment, published in Journal of Traumatic Stress in Jun 2020 suggests:  Event centrality, defined as the extent to which a traumatic event becomes a core component of a person’s identity, is both a correlate and predictor of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, over and above event severity. These findings suggest that decreasing the perceived centrality of a traumatic event to one’s identity might result in decreases in PTSD symptom severity.

7. An article published on The Veterans Site News, titled This New Blood Test May Give Veterans and Troops More Accurate PTSD Diagnoses offers some promise for those experiencing or likely to experience PTSD. “After six years of research, the Army’s Research Systems Biology and outside biometric studies have been able to identify a set of 27 blood markers that are related to the various symptoms of PTSD and they believe they may be able to develop simple blood tests that can help to identify specific treatments for patients who are currently exhibiting, or better diagnostic tools to identify those who might eventually exhibit, the symptoms of PTSD.”

8. An article, published in News Medical Life Sciences titled Chronic inflammation removes motivation by reducing dopamine in the brain summarizes a study published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences. Andrew Miller, co-author of the study, says, “If our theory is correct, then it could have a tremendous impact on treating cases of depression and other behavioral disorders that may be driven by inflammation. It would open up opportunities for the development of therapies that target energy utilization by immune cells, which would be something completely new in our field.”

9. A study titled Long-term follow-up outcomes of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of PTSD: a longitudinal pooled analysis of six phase-2 trials, published in Psychopharmacology May 2020 concludes: PTSD symptoms were reduced 1 to 2 months after MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, and symptom improvement continued at least 12 months post-treatment. Phase 3 trials are investigating this novel treatment approach in a larger sample of participants with chronic PTSD.

10. A study titled Neurophysiological relationship of neuromuscular fatigue and stress disorder in PTSD patients, published in Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies in Aug 2020 concludes: stress disorders may affect the time to fatigue in PTSD patients and subsequently cause some difficulties in their daily life.


Here is some of the information I recently shared in my June newsletter. Each newsletter has a specific focus.  This month is focused on PTSD and trauma information. If you would be interested in receiving my newsletters, please head over to my contact page and sign up.


I receive a weekly update on anything published anywhere on the internet that includes information about PTSD and trauma.  I try to glean the best of the information and provide a brief synopsis of the information. If you come across any information that you think would be good to share, please also feel free to pass that information along to:

1. A powerful study titled Body-Oriented Therapy in Recovery from Child Sexual Abuse: An Efficacy Study, published in Altern Ther Health Med In July 2007 focused on the perceived influence on abuse recovery of body-oriented therapy. 24 adult females participated in a randomized study. Treatment consisted of 8 2 hour long massage sessions or 8 2 hour-long therapy sessions. The results suggest significant improvement on all outcome measures.

2.  An article, originally published in International Psychology Bulletin by Grant Rich, titled Massage Therapy for PTSD, Trauma, and Anxiety, gives numerous references to studies and metastudies on the effectiveness of massage for trauma, anxiety, and PTSD with a valuable reference list for the studies.

3.  A study titled Cortisone Decreases and Serotonin and Dopamine Increase Following Massage Therapy, published in 2005 in International Journal of Neuroscience, concludes: Significant decreases were noted in cortisol levels (averaging decreases 31%); the activating neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) noted an average increase of 28% for serotonin and 31% for dopamine. This suggests the stress-affecting effect of massage therapy on a variety of medical conditions and stressful experiences (including PTSD) is beneficial.

4.  A study titled Alleviating post-traumatic stress in children following Hurricane Andrew, published in Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology in 1996, included 60 grade-school children who showed signs of severe post-traumatic stress. The children received massage on 8 days 1 month after the hurricane. The children reported being happier, less anxious, and had lower cortisol levels after therapy.

5.  A study in 2014 titled PTSD Symptom Reports of Patients Evaluated for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program, published in Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, concluded: Cannabis is associated with reductions in PTSD symptoms in some patients.

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