2015 Research Award Recipients
One $25,000 research grant was awarded in August 2015 to the following:
Dr Benedikt L Amann, MD, PhD | FIDMAG Research Foundation/CIBERSAM
Project Title: Comparison of a novel Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) bipolar protocol versus Supportive Therapy (ST) in the prevention of affective relapses in bipolar patients with a history of trauma: a multicenter single-blind, randomized controlled trial.
Up to 60% of bipolar patients suffer from traumatic events, a comorbidity that causes a worsening in the outcome of the disease. Trauma focused treatment strategies for bipolar disorder are necessary but significant studies are lacking so far. A relatively new psychotherapeutic option is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. We previously found positive results in a first pilot randomized controlled trial in 20 subsyndromal bipolar with traumatic events in their history who improved in trauma and affective symptoms after 3 months of EMDR intervention (vs TAU). As a result of this trial we designed an exhaustive EMDR bipolar protocol with a focus on traumatic events and included 5 specific bipolar sub-protocols. Our aim is to test this protocol in a multicentre trial including 82 bipolar I and II patients with a history of traumatic events who will be randomly allocated to individual EMDR (n=41) or to individual Supportive Therapy (ST) (n=41). Patients will receive 20 EMDR sessions during 6 months. The primary outcome criterion is a reduction of affective episodes after 12 months. Psychopathology, the cognitive state (Screen for Cognitive State in Psychiatry-SCIP), social cognition (MSCEIT) and functioning (FAST) will be evaluated at baseline, after 3 and 6 months, and also at the 12 months follow up visit. Cytokines will be measured pre- and post treatment to examine immunological changes associated to the interventions.
Two $25,000 research grants were awarded in May 2015 to the following:
Marco Pagani, MD PhD
Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, CNR Rome & Padua, Italy
Project Title: Neurobiological features and response to EMDR treatment of PTSD in breast cancer patients
Stress and or trauma-related symptoms among cancer patients have been recently investigated and associated to disease diagnosis and to the the potential life-threatening situation. Assuming that brain regions involved in PTSD in cancer patients are the same showing changes in different psychological traumas, is possible to deduce that therapies effective to treat PTSD in populations would do the same in cancer-related psychological treatment. To date no neuroimaging studies have evaluate the neurobiological effect of successful psychotherapeutic treatment for post-traumatic symptoms in cancer patients. The aim of the present study is: i) to treat by EMDR a cohort of breast cancer patients with PTSD; ii) to identify by Electroencephalography (EEG) the regions activated upon bilateral stimulation in both the initial symptomatic and the final asymptomatic phases; iii) to correlate the neurophysiological changes to the neuropsychological and clinical status.
To access a PDF of 114 slides from Dr. Pagani's plenary presentation, "Imaging EMDR Related Neurobiological Changes", given at the 2015 EMDRIA Conference in Philadelphia, PA click here.
Dr. Luca Ostacoli and Dr. Arne Hofmann
St. Luigi Hospital, Turin, Italy, Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Turin
EMDR Therapy Research is a Global Affair
Have you ever stopped to think how far the results of EMDR therapy research extend? If you are reading this article you already know the tremendous effects of EMDR therapy and its potential in healing trauma and other clinical situations. Since there are therapists doing EMDR therapy all over the world, these healing effects are global. Many of you also believe in the importance of research to clinical practice—it guides clinical decisions, informs the most effective practice and determines the appropriate protocols for different clinical populations and situations. Furthermore a solid research result adds to the credibility of EMDR therapy and strengthens it as an evidence-based treatment choice. Therefore, EMDR therapy research makes a difference globally (i.e., worldwide), as well as makes a global (i.e., comprehensive) difference in healing trauma and other clinical situations. One of our 2015 goals is to increase the global awareness of the EMDR Research Foundation. As the only funding agency solely dedicated to supporting EMDR therapy research, we hope to deepen the impact of EMDR therapy worldwide.
Funding high quality EMDR therapy research is the main function of the Foundation. We are thrilled to announce the two new recipients of a $25000 research grant. One of the recipients shared his heartfelt thanks and added, “A great idea to have such an institution!!” in reference to the EMDR Research Foundation. Both of these research teams are outside the US and now over 50% of all monies funded by the Foundation have been to international teams. Here is a brief synopsis of the projects that were awarded funding. For a full description, please visit our website at www.emdrresearchfoundation.org.