October 1, 2015

At Ease USA has Second Study Published

At Ease USA is happy to report the results of another study funded by At Ease USA, showing that attention training, especially Attention Control Training (ACT), reduces PTSD-related cognitive difficulties in combat Veterans.

In this study published in Cognition and Emotion, the researchers report that veterans with PTSD had difficulty completing a cognitive task when combat words (e.g. bomb or shoot) were present on the computer screen, but did not show this processing difficulty when neutral words (e.g. pan or soap) were shown.  Veterans without PTSD performed the cognitive task equally well no matter which words were presented, indicating that the emotional Stroop task effect is associated with PTSD.

After 8 sessions of attention training, Veterans originally diagnosed with PTSD performed similarly to veterans without PTSD.  After treatment, they no longer demonstrated this cognitive difficulty.  This new study is unique because it does not directly measure symptoms of PTSD.  Instead it measures the attention allocation difficulties believed to underlie symptoms of the disorder.  The new results were particularly strong for ACT, the attention training protocol, that was most effective in the recent clinical trials reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

These new findings are exciting because they offer an independent test of the effectiveness of attention training for PTSD, showing that the treatment appears to normalize basic cognitive processing disruptions associated with the disorder, as well as reduce its symptoms.

To read the entire article, please use the link below:

Thank you for all you do to support At Ease USA in making this research possible. With your help, we truly are making a difference in the lives of our military families!

July 27, 2015

Attention Bias Modification Treatment Study Published in Nationally Acclaimed Journal

Image via Huffington Post

In April of 2012, At Ease USA launched a clinical trial of a promising new therapeutic intervention at Creighton University. The therapy called "Attention Bias Modification Treatment," or ABMT, was developed by Dr. Yair Bar-Haim, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and Head of the School of Psychological Sciences at Tel Aviv University, who was in Omaha for the launch of this research. In this new clinical trial, lead investigator Dr. Amy Badura Brack, Department of Psychology at Creighton University, examined the therapeutic impact of ABMT in soldiers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Creighton University study is the first trial in the United States, and one of only two trials in the world, testing the effectiveness of ABMT for PTSD.

Two years later, the study, titled "Effect of Attention Training on Attention Bias Variability and PTSD Symptoms: Randomized Controlled Trials in Israeli and U.S. Combat Veterans" has been published by The American Journal of Psychiatry.