Researchers are searching for women with severe cases of post-traumatic stress disorder to test a new drug that could be the first of its kind to treat PTSD patients.
“We’re looking for 25 women with chronic PTSD,” said Dr. Sanjay Mathew, a researcher with the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston conducting the study.
Researchers are looking for veterans and non-veterans, women who devolved PTSD from any number of sources, including war, abusive relationships or severe car crashes.
“People who have these kinds of experiences sometimes begin to suffer flashbacks, bad memories or dreams, extreme irritability, trouble sleeping, along with other difficulties,” according to an article from the Veterans Affairs hospital in Houston announcing the study. “Not all victims of trauma suffer from PTSD, but those who do may begin to experience these symptoms immediately after the event, several months, or even years later. Either way, the symptoms of PTSD can seriously disrupt a person’s life.”
Currently there are only two FDA-approved drugs on the market — Zoloft and Paxil — commonly used to treat PTSD, Mathew said. However, those drugs are anti-depressants, and geared to help people suffering from depression, he added.
Three women are currently participating in the study in Houston, and other research teams at VA sites in California, Georgia and New York, are testing the drug, which doesn’t yet have a name.
“Researchers have also found women may be at higher risk for developing PTSD than men,” according to the VA article. “Some studies suggest this is because women are more likely to experience traumatic events, like abuse and sexual assault. Other studies disagree and report that after a traumatic event, women are more likely to ruminate over the event and become more stressed.”
Mathew said researchers are reluctant to try the drug on men because it had adverse affects on male reproduction parts during animal testing.
Women who would like to partake in the study will be required to travel to Houston “at least once a week over a two-month period,” Mathew said, adding participants will be compensated.
Participants cannot be dependent on alcohol or drugs, and must be between ages 21 and 64.
Active-duty personnel will be considered as long as they don’t have a deployment planned during the next few months.
Women who partake in the study will be analyzed for about two years following the initial period of taking the experimental drug.
It could still take years for the FDA to approve the drug for public use.
“This is very early in development,” Mathew said.
Interested participants should contact the research team at 1-877-96-226-6663 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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