Could this be a cure for PTSD? Pill that could treat the condition shows promise in animal testing as the US military and air force help fund the research
- Neurovation Labs has developed a pill that could potentially treat PTSD and showed promise in tests on mice
- Drug can block GluA1 protein that causes a person with PTSD to respond to triggers
- The company received funding from the US Air Force and the military for further research and development
- The condition will affect one in 11 Americans and more than 10% of military veterans at some point in their lives
- PTSD often affects people undergoing traumatic life events and can cause them to relive the event when triggered
A pill that could treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has shown promise in animal studies.
Current treatments for the condition, which affects one in 11 Americans, include electronic brain stimulation and possibly even the use of hallucinogens.
But biotechnology company Neurovation Labs hopes to develop the first drug for the condition.
The pill will be less invasive than these types of treatments and may be easier to access for many.
The New York City-based company has received funding from the U.S. military and air force, and its military departments hope to develop stronger treatments for the condition that affects more than one in 10 servicemen.
Neurovation Labs is developing a potential PTSD treatment that works in pill form that showed promise in mice in clinical trials and has received funding from the US Army and Air Force
dr. Jennifer Perusini, founder of the biotechnology company, told Defense One that PTSD has a biomarker called GluA1, which can be produced by the brain when it goes through trauma.
Perusini tried an experimental drug on mice as part of her dissertation at the University of California, Los Angeles, and found that it had promising results.
She found that her drug could block GluA1 in model mice when they experienced frightening stimuli.
However, the mice would still feel some fear and respond correctly to situations where they were actually threatened, meaning they still had a decent level of fear.
The promise of her drug caught her attention from the US military, and both the Air Force and the military funded further research — the latter of which netted her $145,000 through the xTech program.
The military’s investment stems from the number of servicemen who end up suffering from the condition.
The condition will affect one in 11 Americans and more than 10% of military veterans at some point in their lives (file image)
According to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), 11 to 20 percent of veterans who served in the Iraq War have PTSD.
According to the VA, about 12 percent of Gulf War veterans were found to have the condition, as were 15 percent of Vietnam War veterans.
The condition often occurs after a person has undergone an extremely traumatic experience.
Although PTSD is best known for affecting military members, anyone can develop the condition after a traumatic event.
Other common causes include sexual assault, witnessing a serious crime, car accidents, or suffering from a disaster.
Those who have PTSD often experience anxiety, social withdrawal, difficulty sleeping, and may even have lasting guilt from the event.
Certain triggers can even force a person to mentally relive the traumatic experience.
There is also a known link between suffering from PTSD and death by suicide, although there is no concrete data on the number of deaths the condition causes each year.