Scientists Find Common Antibiotic Could Prevent or Treat PTSD
By Kate Kelland | LONDON
LONDON A common antibiotic called doxycycline can disrupt the formation of negative thoughts and fears in the brain and may prove useful in treating or preventing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to research by British and Swiss scientists.
In a specially designed trial involving 76 healthy volunteers who were given either the drug or a placebo dummy pill, those who were on doxycycline had a 60 percent lower fear response than those who were not.
Scientists said the antibiotic works in this way because it blocks certain proteins outside nerve cells, called matrix enzymes, which our brains need to form memories.
“We have demonstrated a proof-of-principle for an entirely new treatment strategy for PTSD,” said Dominik Bach, a professor at University College London and the University of Zurich, who co-led the research team.