One Cortisone Shot May Prevent PTSD

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) can co-occur with TBI from the same event or occur on its own. Either way PTSD can cause serious emotional suffering and disability from work. A recent study on PTSD prevention by Joseph Zohar, M.D., of Tel Aviv University and Hagit Cohen, Ph.D., from Ben-Gurion University showed that traumatized patients who received a single injection of cortisone within a few hours of the event were more than 60% less likely to develop PTSD.

The researchers said the current prevention therapy using diazepine tranquilizers like Valium or Xanax to calm the traumatized patient down has not worked. They speculate the reason is that diazepines block the release of cortisol (which is made from cortisone). Why would blocking cortisol increase the likelihood of PTSD?

Cortisol increases blood sugar which reduces memory formation. Diabetics (who have high blood sugar) have poor cognitive function including poor memory. It may be that giving a shot of cortisone increases the material needed for cortisol synthesis which raises blood sugar and reduces memory of the event. Whatever the reason, the two researchers have been given a grant to continue studying the underlying mechanism(s).

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