Emotion Regulation Training for Treating Warfighters with Combat-Related PTSD Using Real-Time fMRI and EEG-Assisted Neurofeedback
Annual rept. 30 Sep 2013-29 Sep 2014
LAUREATE INST FOR BRAIN RESEARCH TULSA OK
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Our main objective is to determine whether rtfMRI- and rtEEG-assisted neurofeedback emotion regulation training protocols can reduce the symptoms of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD, a chronic and disabling psychiatric condition. Individuals with PTSD suffer from the dysregulation of several types of emotion, including fear, anxiety, anger, and depression 1 4. Neurocircuit models of PTSD emphasize the role of the amygdala and its reciprocal interactions with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex vmPFC 5 9. To advance understanding of the treatment of combat-related PTSD, the current state-of-the-art research aims to test ways to modulate the functions of the emotion circuit implicated in PTSD. We utilize the recent advances in real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging neurofeedback rtfMRI-nf to directly target and modulate amygdala activity 10 11. This technique measures neuronal activity with sufficiently high temporal resolution that information from the amygdala is immediately available to form a feedback loop. In parallel with rtfMRI-nf, we obtain simultaneous measurement of electroencephalography EEG signals, which directly reflect brain activity in the cerebral cortex 12. By using the multimodal imaging data we can determine which EEG signalsleads or their combination specifically predict or correlate with clinical improvement that has been associated with the rtfMRI-nf training 11,13 16.
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