8 April 2021

Florian Krause, department of Cognitive Neuroscience, received an AAF grant (100.000 Euro) for the project “Getting Trauma Under Control: Learning to Self-Regulate PTSD Brain Networks Through Prospective Neurofeedback Training”.

Together with Erno Hermans (Radboudumc), Gert-Jan Hendriks (Radboud University), Bart Rutten (MaastrichtUMC+), David Linden (Maastricht University) and Koen Schruers (Maastricht University), this collaborative project aims to evaluate a new treatment modality for Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is based on the self-regulation of brain networks through Neurofeedback.

PTSD is commonly treated with trauma-focused therapy, but this approach is insufficiently effective: many patients exhibit relapse of pathological fear when outside of the therapy context. New evidence from cognitive psychology/neuroscience, however, shifts the focus away from the trauma memory itself, and rather assumes that maladaptive control is the core deficit in PTSD. Neuroimaging research has detailed an imbalance in large-scale brain networks that underlies the failure to suppress intrusive thoughts of experienced trauma.

By using Neurofeedback based on these networks to train patients to optimally control intrusive thoughts, this novel approach could, in addition to current treatment, equip patients with the means to deal with future challenges that extend beyond the therapy, and generalize to real-life contexts, allowing them to stay healthy.

This project is one of the 21 research projects the AAF has funded recently.

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