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Review Article

Combining Xenon Inhalation With Trauma Memory Reactivation to Reduce Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Case Report, Justification of Approach, and Review of the Literature

Alexander Dobrovolsky, MD, PhD; Vladimir Bogin, MD; and Edward G. Meloni, PhD

Published: September 19, 2019

Article Abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating disease with limited available treatment options and for which novel effective interventions constitute a significant unmet need. This case report describes successful treatment of a patient with panic disorder and PTSD stemming from the 2010 Moscow subway terrorist attacks through the combination of script-driven trauma memory reactivation and inhalation of a xenon-based gas mixture. Xenon is a competitive inhibitor of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors known to play a role in memory reconsolidation, a learning and memory process wherein memories temporarily enter a labile state after reactivation and may be modified. Literature describing current pharmacologic and exposure-based treatments is reviewed and provides the basis for use of this novel treatment strategy to target and modify emotional memories.

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