High resolution brain SPECT imaging and EMDR in police officers with PTSD.

ABSTRACT:
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has been shown to be an effective treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this study, the authors evaluated the effectiveness and physiological effects of EMDR in police officers involved with on-duty shootings and who had PTSD. Six police officers involved with on-duty shootings and subsequent delayed-onset PTSD were evaluated with standard measures, the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale, and high-resolution brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging before and after treatment. All police officers showed clinical improvement and marked reductions in the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale Score (PDS). In addition, there were decreases in the left and right occipital lobe, left parietal lobe, and right precentral frontal lobe as well as significant increased perfusion in the left inferior frontal gyrus. In our study EMDR was an effective treatment for PTSD in this police officer group, showing both clinical and brain imaging changes.

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