Testing new treatments to help civilians with PTSD (a randomized control trial)

This randomized control trial examines the effectiveness of two treatments – Goal Management Training (GMT) and neurofeedback – in reducing PTSD symptoms and improving day-to-day functioning among civilians with PTSD. GMT is a nine-session cognitive training program aimed at improving problems with memory, focus, and concentration – common symptoms of PTSD. The program also aims to improve functional outcomes in people with PTSD, such as improving interactions with family members, controlling impulsivity and anger, and returning to work. Prior to each GMT session, participants undergo a session of neurofeedback, which displays brain activity in real time to help people learn to self-regulate brain function. The goal of neurofeedback here is to normalize neural pathways in the brain that become dysregulated following a traumatic experience.

MRI scans are conducted at Robarts Research Institute in London, Ontario, before and after treatment to measure changes in brain structure and function associated with treatment.

Research Team: Dr. Margaret McKinnon (McMaster University, HRI), Dr. Ruth Lanius (Western University), Dr. Andrew Nicholson (McMaster University, HRI), Stephanie Neville (Western University), Susie Southwell (Western University),  Sarah Sousa (HRI), Sherain Harricharan (McMaster University, HRI), Krysta Andrews (McMaster University, HRI)

Funder: The FDC Foundation