The proposed work will evaluate the ability of neurocognitive retraining of executive functions and emotional regulation to reduce neurocognitive dysfunctions that follow trauma exposure and thereby prevent PTSD. The scientific rationale for this work is the hypothesis that impaired emotional regulation interferes with the expected recovery from the early responses to traumatic events, leading into a chronic disorder. In an initial phase we will recruit 20 recently traumatized participants among trauma survivors admitted to a general hospital emergency room and test the planned intervention's acceptance and right 'dosing'. In the second phase we will enroll 80 recent survivors into a randomized controlled study of the new intervention. The intervention will consist of web-based neurobehavioral training interventions that instill an emotional bias toward positive stimuli, improve emotion recognition and labeling, reduce resistance to emotional distraction, and enhance executive functioning. Control participants will complete web-based video games that do not have emotion-regulatory benefits. Outcome measures will include improvement in neurocognitive functioning and in PTSD symptoms.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a prevalent, disabling and tenacious. The goal of this work is to test and establish an innovative approach to preventing PTSD by using of web-based neurocognitive re- training intervention. These interventions enhance survivors'ability to regulate their emotions, and could help them recover from trauma. A positive finding of this study will open a way to using brain-based neurobehavioral interventions to prevent PTSD.