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Unravelling the underlying mechanisms of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy: The effects of beta-blocker Propranolol on EMDR effectiveness.


- candidate number13730
- NTR NumberNTR3695
- ISRCTNISRCTN wordt niet meer aangevraagd.
- Date ISRCTN created
- date ISRCTN requested
- Date Registered NTR8-nov-2012
- Secondary IDsNL41743.041.12 CCMO
- Public TitleUnravelling the underlying mechanisms of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy: The effects of beta-blocker Propranolol on EMDR effectiveness.
- Scientific TitleThe role of noradrenaline (NA) in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Part I: The effects of NA-antagonist propranolol on the plasticity of emotionally arousing episodic memories.
- ACRONYMThe role of NA in EMDR: a propranolol investigation
- hypothesisThe goal of the present study is to investigate whether the blockade of NA-transmission by beta-antagonist propranolol reduces the common EMDR effects (reduced vividness/emotionality of emotional memories) in order to find out if NA-release (evoked by the emotionality of the memories) plays an important role in the blurring of traumatic memories during EMDR.
- Healt Condition(s) or Problem(s) studiedPropranolol , Emotional memory, EMDR, Eye movements, Noradrenalin
- Inclusion criteria1. Passing the medical screening (blood pressure and heart rate examination, two-step test and interview);
2. Age 18-35.
- Exclusion criteria1. History of cardiovascular problems;
2. Liver or kidney disease;
3. Asthmatic disease;
4. Use of contraindicative medication;
5. History of psychiatric disorders;
6. History of neurological disorders;
7. Hypersensitivity to propranolol;
8. Pregnancy.
- mec approval receivedno
- multicenter trialno
- randomisedyes
- masking/blindingDouble
- controlPlacebo
- groupParallel
- Type2 or more arms, randomized
- Studytypeintervention
- planned startdate 1-feb-2013
- planned closingdate1-okt-2013
- Target number of participants50
- Interventions1. Propranolol 40 mg or placebo;
2. Memory recall + eye movements, memory recall only.
- Primary outcomeThe emotionality and vividness of recollected memories at pretest (baseline), posttest (after medication intake and each experimental manipulation) and after 24 hour follow-up measured with corrugator EMG, HR, SC, a VAS for emotionality, and a VAS for vividness.
- Secondary outcomeN/A
- TimepointsDirect post-test and 24h hour follow-up.
- Trial web siteN/A
- statusplanned
- CONTACT FOR PUBLIC QUERIESPhD. M. Littel
- CONTACT for SCIENTIFIC QUERIESPhD. M. Littel
- Sponsor/Initiator University Utrecht (UU)
- Funding
(Source(s) of Monetary or Material Support)
University Utrecht (UU)
- PublicationsN/A
- Brief summaryEye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a widely used, effective psychological treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Its core intervention is that patients recall trauma memories while simultaneously making lateral eye movements. It is largely unknown how EMDR works, however, much evidence has been obtained for the working memory hypothesis. This hypothesis comprises that both recalling traumatic memories and making eye movements (EM) tax working memory (WM), which has limited capacity. Simultaneously performing both tasks leads to a competition for WM, rendering the traumatic memories less vivid and emotional. When memories are recollected they re-enter a labile state and become malleable and, because of this, the traumatic memory is overwritten by the memory that is blurred by EM. Emotional material is better (re) consolidated than emotional neutral material, i.e., it is prioritized and is (re) consolidated more vividly and in greater detail. This is caused by the release of noradrenaline (NA). In EMDR emotional material is recollected and reconsolidated. Therefore, EMDR might work because of NA release, i.e., NA enhances the reconsolidation of the blurred emotional memories.

The goal of the present study is to investigate whether the blockade of NA-transmission by beta-antagonist propranolol reduces the common EMDR effects (reduced vividness/emotionality of emotional memories) in order to find out if NA-release (evoked by the emotionality of the memories) plays an important role in the blurring of traumatic memories during EMDR.

The proposed study will use a double-blind, placebo-controlled, experimental, repeated measures design, with medication group (placebo, propranolol) as between subjects independent variable, condition (recall + EM, recall only, no recall) and time (pretest, posttest-1, posttest-2) as within subjects independent variables, and VAS-rated vividness and emotional arousal, and physiological response (heart rate, skin conductance and facial electromyography (EMG)) as dependent variables.
- Main changes (audit trail)
- RECORD8-nov-2012 - 24-nov-2012


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