Anesthetize People to Treat PTSD Symptoms?

Rob Wipond
26
93

“Breathing in xenon, a gas used in people for anesthesia, may help treat post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions linked with fear and anxiety,” reports LiveScience, about a study of rat behaviors published in PLOS One.

The researchers “trained rats to be afraid of sounds that were paired with painful electrical shocks to their feet,” reports LiveScience. “One day later, the scientists exposed the rats to the same sounds and, to measure their fear level, video-recorded how long they froze in place… The investigators found that a single hour-long dose of xenon was enough to reduce rats’ fear responses, and the effects remained for up to two weeks.”

“It was as though the animals no longer remembered to be afraid of those cues,” commented one co-author of the research.

Rare Anesthetic May Help Treat PTSD, Rat Study Suggests (LiveScience, September 5, 2014)

Xenon Impairs Reconsolidation of Fear Memories in a Rat Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Meloni, Edward G. PLOS One. August 27, 2014. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106189)

26 COMMENTS

  1. A sleep doctor has a much better idea regarding PTSD:

    http://sevencounties.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=39747

    By the way, this solution reminds of the early days of the crude remedies for mental illness such as insulin coma therapy and lobotomy. At least if you’re going to defend those therapies and I used that term extremely loosely, there weren’t any other options but with PTSD, there are several that can be tried that don’t have side effects.

    Additionally, what never ceases to amaze me is all of alternative medicine is pegged as quackery while this is supposed to be conventional medicine we can trust. I am speechless once again.

    • Irish Professor Dr Ivor Browne:
      “….There are two main kinds of problems we deal with as therapists. On the one hand, there are those who have been traumatised through loss, unresolved grief, physical trauma, accidents, sexual abuse and so on. Typically, when these things happen, particularly if it’s early in life, the person freezes the situation and builds a wall of defence around the trauma.
      In my experience, such persons are nearly always diagnosed as suffering from “clinical” depression, bipolar and so on. In these situations, the only way for healing to take place is for the person to open up the trauma and fully experience it so that it can become simply a memory. Then they will no longer be troubled by it….”

      And earlier in the article
      “….Mental illness is seen as a disease caused by either a disturbance in our biochemistry or by genetic influences – but this is a myth…..”

      And at the end of the article
      “…What we urgently require is a new form of asylum, a therapeutic community that provides a warm, loving, human context within which a person can grow, develop a healthy lifestyle, learn to work and manage themselves. It is then that the problem of so-called “psychiatric illness” ceases to be relevant….”

      • Fiachra,

        Thanks for a great informative post! I’ve posted many items about the fact that abuse/trauma victims are routinely misdiagnosed as bipolar, delusional, ADHD and other life destroying, bogus stigmas, so I appreciate your adding to the greatly necessary exposure of this monstrous evil!

        This Dr. Ivor Browne seems like a very kind, decent, honest person and I plan to check him out more.

        It is my impression that anesthesia can always pose a danger to people, so using it for PTSD sure seems like literal overkill to me.

        And as you and others have noted here, brain disabling and brain damage are part and parcel of psychiatry’s so called “treatments” in keeping with their eugenics genocide they practiced when they instigated the Nazi Holocaust and other ethnic/racist “cleansings.”

    • Btw, anesthesia has a serious side effect of …death (one of the main reasons why even minor surgeries are very risky when complete anesthesia is needed). But I guess if the guy does not wake up he’s PTSD is gone for good as well…

    • But the reality is, people are getting very hurt and we act like they aren’t.

      A secret about the brain as a quantum machine: you can’t alter it without there being a difference. The evidence of an injury is that any chance could be seen at all, because you fucked up the brains natural state of existence! It isn’t possible to fix, its too complex, its billions of particles acting together in each neuron alone! Stop tampering with it, and stop calling damaging alterations treatment that couldn’t possibly repair anything in it!

    • Btw, they’ve recently talked about starting trial on ketamine as an antidepressant – a very potent drug which is being used as an anesthetic. It also is very dangerous and can cause death in vulnerable people and when overdosed. But in smaller doses can act as a sedative… I’m starting to wonder what is so bad with giving people with “depression” booze. Can’t be worse than benzos, SSRIs and ketamine…

  2. Jumpin’ Jack Flash – it’s a gas!

    And the gas is Xenon, used in the flash tubes of strobe lights. How did the Stones know of its therapeutic properties back in the ’60s and the rest of the world is just finding out now?

    William James wrote “The Varieties of Religious Experience” after huffing nitrous oxide. Could all those great Rolling Stones classics have come out of xenon intoxication?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhC8-6Ng_c4
    “Hey Baby, what’s in your eyes? I see them flashing like airplane lights.”

    And is there a connection between xenon and the Xenu of L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology, or am I making a loose association?
    Both are being touted as cures for disorders from unresolved past trauma.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenu

  3. But does xenon improve athletic performance?

    “The inhalation can be administered as a single dose or over multiple doses (stages), depending on duration of physical exertion. Inhalation performed over multiple stages is found to be more effective. The effects of the inhalation are apparent over 48-72 hours following the procedure and diminish thereafter.

    It is recommended that the inhalation procedure is performed two to three times over a duration of seven to ten days. To increase the efficacy of the procedure, it is recommended that the procedure be performed not less than 24 hours prior to the start of the competition, two to three hours prior to going to bed.”
    http://cyclingtips.com.au/2014/03/xenon-gas-as-a-performance-enhancing-drug-doping-or-just-hot-air/

    I first learned about the work of Walter Russell when I was employed in weapons testing on the Pacific Missile Range (Dyn Corp) in the 1970s. Although Russell’s major concern was the extraction and concentration of the radio-active elements for power and weapons, I feel he would have had a similar attitude towards the inert gases (some of which are radio-active). These substances have a place and a purpose in the cosmos, and if “distillers of quintessences” start abusing them, trouble is sure to follow. Madame Curie and the other discoverers of radium thought they had found the “life force”. They drank irradiated water and encouraged others to do so for their health, but all soon died from cancer.

    Here’s a good presentation of the Russells’ teachings.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGdLbMkOuX4&list=PLF0E48A69E8629A73

    • xenon is a naturally occurring element and may be trapped in crystal quartz within the earth. Why is the human brain sensitive to this rare element? Because we’ve been breathing it since we first crawled out of the primordial ooze and our brains adapted to its effects – perhaps it was more plentiful in early earth atmosphere as it makes up only .000008% of the air we breath.

  4. The doses used in this study (25%) were sub anesthetic – they don’t put you to sleep. The gas is completely safe in people and some reports even indicate that people find breathing it “pleasurable” or “safe” – people don’t emerge from breathing low dose xenon as zombies with their memories wiped. Also, let me dispel some of the concerns that this is like a lobotomy, mind erasure, or a way to depersonalize a person with PTSD. The application suggested from the study is that it might be a way to break a vicious feedforward cycle of traumatic remembering. In all likelihood (hasn’t yet been tested in people) xenon administered during therapist-assisted psychotherapy will provide a wedge in the pathological cycle of intrusive thoughts —–> reconsolidation——-> intrusive thoughts that maintains the symptoms of PTSD. By disrupting reconsolidation, this will allow a reciprocal process called extinction – which is deficient in PTSD – to start to gain some traction and allow people to recover with their own cognitive control.

    • ” By disrupting reconsolidation, this will allow a reciprocal process called extinction”
      Yeah, memory loss in other words. When you don’t reconsolidate memories the memory trace is lost. So it’s based on inducing memory impairment.
      Crucial control lacking in the rat studies: test memory in other kinds of paradigms. I bet it targets every form of memory not only fear related one.
      Getting hit over the head with a club can also induce euphoria and memory loss. Just like ECT and other dubious “treatments”.

    • Btw, the idea is not to make a person forget the trauma but to change the person’s reaction to the memory of it (get rid of the high emotional valence of the memory) which is usually done by psychotherapy. Any drug or physical treatment currently available (and likely in the near future) is not going to be specific and will only act by erasing the memory itself (plus a bunch of other memories and likely inducing some cognitive impairments along the way). Unless someone is down to deal with amnesia that could be acceptable but given how so-called “informed consent” is used these days I’s not count on these “treatments” being used according to the person’s wishes.
      Btw, memory loss can be very traumatic, I know that personally.

  5. “It was as though the animals no longer remembered to be afraid of those cues,”
    I think don’t remember is a crucial word here. Anesthesia can interfere with memory consolidation so it’s likely that they simply fail to form the memories. It’s likely just damage to normal brain function and possibly also dangerous in other ways (people die of anesthesia).