Clinical trial - novel treatments for PTSD | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Clinical trial - novel treatments for PTSD

Dont Keep It All Bottled Up

We seek individuals diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to participate inclinical trials investigating the effectiveness of novel treatments, including drug therapy and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

Why this study is important

Following the experience of a single or series of traumatic events, some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD symptoms can disrupt your normal activities and ability to function. Although individual symptoms may vary, many display neurological deficits which lead to decreased cognitive and social functioning, behavioral disturbances, sleep difficulties, avoidance of reminders and intrusion of unwanted memories.

Few treatments have been developed which are effective in treating PTSD; even less target the neural dysfunctions caused by PTSD. This study explores an avenue of treatment which previously has been underutilized in PTSD sufferers.


PTSD trials require a 10-week period of commitment. You will need to be able attend the Thompson Institute, located in Birtinya, Queensland, for seven consecutive weeks. You will then need to return four weeks later for an in-person follow-up assessment.

  • 18 years of age or older

  • Are experiencing ongoing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms

  • Are not currently pregnant or breastfeeding

  • Do not require urgent psychiatric intervention 

  • Do not have uncontrolled cardiovascular disease

  • Do not have a history of acquired or traumatic brain injury

What's involved

As a participant in our clinical trials, we require that you participate in a range of assessments, as outlined below. These assessments are very important in helping us to better understand PTSD, and to assess your treatment response. These assessments will be conducted multiple times throughout the trial, either in person or via the phone. If you feel uncomfortable answering these questions or undergoing neurophysiological assessments (ie MRI), we have experienced clinicians who can offer support and assistance.

Clinician administered and self-report questionnaires

A clinical staff member will ask about your mental health, mood, overall wellbeing, day-to-day functioning, and sleep quality. Other demographic information, such as your education level, family history, and support networks will be collected. You will also be asked about your behaviour and experiences following treatment.

Cognitive assessments

These are similar to brain games and will assess memory, concentration, attention and reaction time. You will complete cognitive assessments on an iPad.

Medical assessment

As part of the medical assessment, you will be asked questions about your medical history and your family’s medical history. Biomedical measurements, such as height, weight and blood pressure will also be taken. You will be asked to provide regular urinary samples to assess for elevations in enzymes and pregnancy.

Brain imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive form of brain imaging which utilises the natural magnetic properties of water molecules to generate signal and therefore build up a 3D map of all the different tissues within the body. These scans are capable of assessing structural, functional, and chemical changes in the brain. As part of this protocol, you will be asked to complete a cognitive task in the MRI.

Electroencephalography (EEG)

EEG is a non-invasive way of measuring brain activity. You will be asked to wear a headcap containing sensors that record the electrical activity generated by your brain. A water-based gel will be placed in your hair to assist the connection between the sensors on the cap and your scalp. This assessment will involve short computerised resting tasks which will be conducted while your brain activity is recorded.


Blood tests

You will be asked to undergo five blood tests, which will be collected at a nearby pathology center. These samples will be used to ensure your safety and eligibility within this trial. These samples will also be used to assess molecular biological brain changes

Prince Charles HREC approval: HREC/18/QPCH/288
Bellberry HREC Approval: 2020-07-653

Are you interested in participating?

If you are interested in being involved in our studies please complete the below Expression of Interest form.

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