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Creighton researcher receives $1.2 million grant for second phase of PTSD study

At Ease USA (AEU) is committed to providing access to confidential trauma treatment and therapeutic support for active military, veterans and their loved ones, regardless of their ability to pay. AEU is excited to provide $1.2 million to fund a second round of Attention Control Training (ACT) clinical trials, an innovative therapy for the treatment of military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Psychology Professor Amy Badura-Brack, PhD, of Creighton University will serve as the lead investigator. In 2015, Dr. Badura-Brack completed an important trial of attention training for PTSD in United States in conjunction with Yair Bar-Haim, PhD, of Tel Aviv University. The results of these initial trials were published in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

ACT is a brief and straightforward computerized intervention, and it is easy for participants to complete.At Ease USA funded the development of a web-deliverable version that will be the basis for this round of clinical trials.

Dr. Badura-Brack’s team worked with the lab led Tony Wilson, PhD, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and conducted brain-imaging research comparing veterans with and without PTSD, as well as comparing the brain activity of veterans before and after treatment. The results of these projects indicated significant brain differences between veterans with and without PTSD, and support the treatment effectiveness of attention training in normalizing brain functioning. These results have been published in numerous medical journals over the past two years.

In addition to testing the ACT web-deliverable intervention both in a clinical setting and over the internet, trials will be conducted with treatment resistant veterans, women impacted by interpersonal violence and children from North Omaha suffering from community violence-related PTSD. Dr. Badura-Brack will once again partner with the University of Nebraska Medical Center as Dr. Wilson is currently conducting a study on normally developing children in Omaha, which will serve as a comparison for the newly funded neuroscience aspect of this grant research with traumatized youth.

AEU’s mission remains focused on our military families, but we are hopeful that this software will also assist those living in high poverty and high crime areas.

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