Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies

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Iraq War Virtual Reality Study


We are currently recruiting veterans of the Iraq War who meet criteria for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder


The purpose of this study is to treat symptoms of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from military exposure to the Iraq War using traditional treatment combined with the Virtual Reality Therapy program. We will also be examining the effects of using D-Cycloserine (DCS) in conjunction with the virtual reality treatment.


Treatment is offered on an individual basis for 12-14 weekly sessions lasting approximately 75 minutes each. This cognitive-behavioral treatment aims to introduce skills and techniques that will reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. One essential component of the treatment includes describing one's military experiences. To enhance the ability to retell the experience, participants will be presented with a computerized virtual reality Iraq combat scenario, in which they will see and hear a "virtual environment" through a headset. In addition, participants will be randomly assigned to take either a low dose of D-Cycloserine (DCS; a broad-spectrum antibiotic) or a placebo pill prior to their weekly session to examine the effects of DCS on treatment. Thus treatment incorporates traditional techniques that have been shown to be effective in treating PTSD, with cutting edge technology and pharmacology to enhance the treatment. Treating clinicians are all highly experienced in working with PTSD, military personnel and disaster workers.

To schedule a free evaluation or to learn more about our studies, please call (212) 821-0783.

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