Enhancing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Treatment for Veterans via Prebiotic Supplementation
Principal Investigator: Dr. Robin Voigt-Zuwala
Disease: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Research Description: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating psychiatric disorder, which results from exposure to traumatic events. Veterans are more than twice as likely to suffer from PTSD compared to civilians. Unaddressed PTSD increases the risk for long-term mental and physical health problems such as substance use, suicide, intestinal and heart diseases. Current recommended treatment of PTSD includes evidence-based psychotherapies, such as Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). These psychotherapies are effective for reducing PTSD symptoms, but despite this reported efficacy, approximately two-thirds of veterans who complete these treatments continue to experience PTSD. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find new strategies to treat PTSD in veterans. It is becoming increasingly evident that the micro-organisms in the gastrointestinal tract (called the microbiome) can influence mental health. The research team will combine CPT with a prebiotic therapeutic to determine the impact on PTSD symptoms in veterans. This low-risk, high-reward clinical trial will be conducted as part of the Road Home Program: National Center of Excellence for Veterans and Their Families at Rush University Medical Center and will evaluate the ability of a combined treatment approach to have a meaningful impact on PTSD symptoms in veterans.
Funding Partners: The Kahlert Foundation and other funders
CWR funding role: Primary funder