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PTSD research named among top 10 health innovations

Stephen Maren of the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences had research that was named one of Health Innovations' renowned Top 10 Healthinnovations of 2019.


MarenStephen Maren, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, had research that was named one of Healthinnovations’ renowned Top 10 Healthinnovations of 2019.

The Healthinnovations site compiles a list of the most viewed articles each year, sharing where their “mainstream readership across the globe define the greatest innovations, helping to indicate the largest areas of strategic investment and greatest areas of interest for the healthcare industry currently.” Healthinnovations has been a pioneer medical research and technology news site for over a decade. 

“Recognition of our work in the Top 10 Healthinnovations of 2019 reflects the hard work and dedication of my students and trainees who are invested in understanding how the brain regulates fear and anxiety, and how this knowledge might inform novel treatments for PTSD,” Maren said. 

Maren’s research focused on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  From the Healthinnovations site, 

“Our next most popular article sees Texas A&M University tackling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), another mood disorder study with the PTSD Therapeutic Market alone projected to make US$ 10,679.5 million by 2026 with a CAGR of 4.5% according to Credence Research, Inc.

The findings of the study are specific to PTSD and identify a small brain region in the thalamus, called the nucleus reuniens, which plays a role in inhibiting fear in rats. The team provides a specific target for fear suppression by showing that prefrontal cortex inputs to the nucleus reuniens are critically involved in fear extinction, and may serve in a pivotal role in regulating emotional-based learning and memory.

New therapies are needed for PTSD as non-specific SSRI antidepressants used in the disorder are shown to only benefit 50% of sufferers, with it still unclear if using medications and counseling together produces better outcomes. This study will surely open the door to new therapeutics, counseling techniques, and electromagnetic therapies in relation to PTSD a mood disorder anchored heavily in the memory.”

Read more about Maren’s research and the Top 10 Healthinnovations here