Office of Research & Development

VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE
This Issue: The Returning Veteran | Table of Contents: Winter 2017 | Download this issue

New Initiatives

VA Research announces new PTSD Psychopharmacology Initiative


VA has initiated a research program to look for new drugs to treat posttraumatic stress disorder. <em>(Photo: ©iStock/motorolka)</em>
VA has initiated a research program to look for new drugs to treat posttraumatic stress disorder. (Photo: ©iStock/motorolka)

VA has initiated a research program to look for new drugs to treat posttraumatic stress disorder. (Photo: ©iStock/motorolka)

VA has announced a new initiative to spur innovative research into drugs that can be used to treat PTSD in Veterans, called the PTSD Psychopharmacology Initiative (PPI).

In June 2016, VA convened an expert panel to review the body of available research on PTSD and drug treatments. The panel identified significant gaps in VA's work to identify and test the most effective drugs to treat PTSD in Veterans. The review led to the new call for research proposals as well as other elements, such as training opportunities and clinical site surveys, to address this priority research need.

"Considering the wide-ranging impact of PTSD from a personal, health care system, and societal perspective, VA must have a focused research program to systematically address the need for a rich PTSD pharmacotherapy evidence base," said Dr. Terri Gleason, acting director of VA's Clinical Science Research and Development Service (CSR&D). "We consider this effort to be one of the highest priorities for our clinical trials program and are counting on the scientific community to engage in this effort. CSRD also convened an Industry Day to attract commercial partners in September 2016, and several new studies are being developed as a result of that activity. We further hope to develop more partnerships as the PPI moves forward."

The PPI invites research proposals on PTSD medications from qualified VA investigators. There is an opportunity for clinical trials training for VA investigators interested in conducting studies in this area. Also, sites are encouraged to complete surveys to address capacity needs for potential clinical trials.

VA Research has a rich history of studying and developing PTSD treatments, including psychotherapies such as cognitive processing therapy, which is currently used widely in VA, along with prolonged exposure therapy. Ongoing studies range from investigations of the genetic or biochemical foundations of the disorder to evaluations of new or existing treatments.

For more information on the PPI, visit the CSR&D website. To learn more about VA research on PTSD in general, visit our PTSD topic page.


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