Effects of Hydrocortisone in Patients With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The purpose of this study is to determine whether people who develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after a trauma have increased sensitivity to the effects of a stress hormone.
Patients with PTSD have small hippocampal volume and deficits in hippocampal-mediated memory as compared to healthy people. However, it is unclear whether the smaller hippocampi are a consequence of PTSD or a risk factor for the development of PTSD. Some researchers believe that people who develop PTSD have an increase in cortisol levels during traumatic experiences and that this could be neurotoxic to the hippocampus. Others hypothesize that increased sensitivity of glucocorticoid receptors to cortisol, regardless of the cortisol levels, could lead to neurotoxic damage to the hippocampus. This study will compare responses to a stress hormone in patients with PTSD, participants who have experienced trauma but do not have PTSD, and healthy volunteers.
Participants will be screened with a medical and psychiatric interview, physical examination, blood tests, electrocardiogram, and an emotional intelligence evaluation. Those eligible for the study will be asked to collect urine and saliva samples for 3 days. Participation will also include blood draws, a PET scan (brain imaging), an eye-blink test, neuropsychological testing, and other procedures.
At another study visit, participants will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan (brain imaging), questionnaires, and other procedures.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
|Official Title:||Effect of Hydrocortisone Infusion on Hippocampal Glucose Metabolism, Neuropsychological Test Performance and Reexperiencing Symptoms in Patients With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)|
|Study Start Date:||June 2002|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||September 2004|
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00039715
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|