Certain antioxidants may protect against PTSD

By Staff Writer

For the many of those with post traumatic stress disorder, the memory of traumatic events is the most difficult aspect to deal with, particularly when those memories start to become associated with normal, every day events. However, a team of U.S. and Spanish researchers may have found a way to block these memories and help individuals form new behaviors.

The team reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry that dihydroxyflavone, a type of antioxidant, helped mice that experienced trauma overcome their newly-conditioned response patterns.

For the study, researchers from Emory University and the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona conditioned a group of mice to become fearful when a certain sound was played. After this conditioning phase, the researchers found that mice that were given dihydroxyflavone were less likely to exhibit fear the next time the sound was played.

This type of antioxidant is found in many types of food, including red wine, tea and high-cocoa content chocolate. The researchers said that it makes sense that the nutrient would protect individuals who have experienced trauma from the development of PTSD, as previous studies have shown that antioxidants may have a range of neuroprotective properties.