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Results: 91 - 105 of 2664
Alain Beaudet
View Alain Beaudet Profile
Alain Beaudet
2011-03-02 16:59
I've heard the same thing, and I know that there are some research reports, for instance, of increased incidence of depression in the families of military persons.
View Peter Stoffer Profile
NDP (NS)
One of the concerns I hear consistently in regard to post-traumatic stress disorder, or operational stress injury, has to do with the efforts of those suffering from PTSD to get assistance. Someone will go to a department for assistance, either a federal or provincial department, and they'll get the bureaucratic delay. They're told to get in line and that someone will get back to them.
This aggravates their condition, from what they tell me. When their spouses or their kids go off the rails because this person has dropped the baggage, it affects them all. When you left for your deployment, your family was quiet and routine, and everyone had a place. You come back and suddenly everything is helter-skelter.
You don't know what you're doing. Your family members don't recognize you anymore. We hear the saying, “This is not my husband anymore—he's not the same man who left”. Everything's in a topsy-turvy sort of turmoil. That compounds the situation even more. For people trying to assist the individual, it must be a real challenge to try to put everything in balance and in place again.
Dr. Westwood indicated that for the last five years he hasn't applied to DVA for funding. Are you aware of him? Would he be eligible to apply to CIHR for some type of funding?
Alain Beaudet
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Alain Beaudet
2011-03-02 17:00
I don't know the man, but if he has research credentials and he's affiliated with a hospital or university, he would certainly be eligible. We have two types of programs.
We have targeted programs. For instance, we could decide with Veterans Affairs or National Defence to pool some money on a targeted program to answer specific questions. Then, once we determine what the question is, it's an open call for competition. Everyone who has the credentials and the research training is allowed to apply to CIHR.
In addition to that, we have a fully open program so that anyone, any researcher in the land with the right credentials and proper affiliation, can apply to CIHR through our open grants competition with any good idea that he or she may have.
So there are two parallel mechanisms. In each case, you have to go through a competition. It's reviewed by experts, and only the very best proposals, and the ones that are methodologically sound, that have sound hypotheses, that are anchored in reality, will get funded.
View Peter Stoffer Profile
NDP (NS)
We know that other countries are doing research similar to this. Are there any cross-references between researchers here and researchers in the United States, Europe, and Australia? If so, it could constitute a cost saving.
Moreover, you don't want to keep spending money reinventing the wheel. And you want to develop best practices. We've heard that a soldier is a soldier is a soldier. Regardless of the uniform, their experiences may be equal. Is there any linkage from your organization to assist researchers in coordinating these efforts?
Alain Beaudet
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Alain Beaudet
2011-03-02 17:02
Certainly.
First of all, there's a huge amount of collaboration between Canadian investigators and American investigators. The U.S. is our major collaborator in science and all areas, but particularly in the area of mental health. The second one is the U.K. and the third one is France. These are major countries we collaborate with and we do encourage collaboration with other countries, putting together experiences.
In addition to that, and I may have been misunderstood by Mr. Vincent before, it's clear that we always take into consideration the scientific literature that comes from other countries, and certainly the experience that comes from research that's been done in the United States. We don't reinvent the wheel.
What I was just trying to say is that, in addition, I think it's important that we don't let all the research be done by others. I think we may have some specificity here in Canada with the Canadian armed forces, and I gave some examples of what some of these specificities could be that make it worthwhile to also do our own research and to compare our data with the data in other countries.
We certainly do that systematically in that area, I would say, like in all others. It's an area where, because Canada is held in such high esteem in neuroscience and mental health studies, we have absolutely no difficulty collaborating with other countries. Other countries are actually willing to collaborate with us because of the quality of our researchers.
View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2011-03-02 17:04
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
My first question is around any research that you've done on what actually triggers the PTSD. We had General Dallaire testify before the committee in the fall. He talked about a trigger that he encountered after he had done his service. If he was at a market, the aroma of fresh fruit or vegetables brought him back to a time when he was in Africa. I'm just wondering what the research is on triggers or predicting triggers or trying to identify this.
Alain Beaudet
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Alain Beaudet
2011-03-02 17:05
It's a difficult question and, again, I'm not an expert. Yes, we are actually funding research in that area. What you're describing is typical of post-traumatic stress disorder. Again, you have to understand it as the brain circuits that are involved in fear. These brain circuits also involve the hormonal axis that will release noradrenalin, adrenalin, and corticosterone in the bloodstream when you face anxiety and any stressful situation.
Normally, there are mechanisms whereby the fear circuit will be stopped; the hormonal imbalance will be stopped and will revert to normal. Everything reverts to normal, and you're okay. In the case of post-traumatic stress disorder, it's as if the mechanism to extinguish the fear reaction and the mechanisms to bring the hormonal levels—particularly the cortisol level—back to normal are no longer operational.
Lots of studies are trying to understand what is going awry in the brain circuitry. Not only are the normal mechanisms that extinguish the signal not operational, but also, you will have triggers exactly as you described. It could be sound. It could be smell. Very often there are spontaneous images--often dreaming.
As you know, it's like a state of hyper-vigilance, right? These people have huge problems sleeping, and they have a very strong dream content that always brings back the memories. The hippocampus is very much involved. All the circuits that are involved in recalling the memories are recalled and are put into action in an appropriate way.
You're asking me how we can understand it. We're talking about the next frontier, which is understanding the brain. Yes, there are several studies that we're supporting currently that are trying to examine just that through imaging techniques: what the relationships between the brain and the hormonal system are and what circuits of the brain are involved. But I would say that it's still early days.
It's critical in my sense, too, that we understand this, because it's only when we understand it that we'll be able to develop treatments that are not empirical. Right now, the treatments we're using are, as you know, the same types of treatments that we are using in depression. It's very difficult to treat.
View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2011-03-02 17:07
Another question I have has to do with some of the research you're doing on MRIs and the cutaneous tissue and all these things you're doing post-service for our servicemen. Do those studies look at what the brain looks like before and after? Are you doing a lot of the “after” now? If you are, what are you seeing?
Alain Beaudet
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Alain Beaudet
2011-03-02 17:08
It's always very difficult to.... Actually, they could exist, but I'm not aware of longitudinal studies that are looking at before and after, but there's a lot of comparison between the normal population and the population that has been exposed to stress, and comparisons between people who have been exposed to combat stress versus other types of stress. As you may imagine, it's more difficult to do the longitudinal study, the before and after, but there might be some studies that I'm unaware of, quite frankly, I think it would actually be an excellent thing to look at.
Because again, I'm really convinced, from what I've read, that there must be some neurobiological basis for the susceptibility of some individuals but not others to develop distress disorders. If we could develop either bar markers or imaging that would allow us to screen these people beforehand, it would be great. I'm sure there must be interventions in that area. I'm just not aware of them.
View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2011-03-02 17:09
Is the research...? Obviously PTSD can be many different things to different people, with the triggers and all of that, but--
View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2011-03-02 17:09
That's fair enough.
The question I want to get to now is whether you, through your research, are able to narrow it down to say that there are actually different types of PTSD. Or is it still globally accepted within the research community that PTSD is PTSD? Are you able to now narrow it down exactly?
Alain Beaudet
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Alain Beaudet
2011-03-02 17:10
My understanding, from what I know of the literature, is that it's still a big syndrome, but there could be a narrowing down that has occurred that I'm not aware of. You have to remember that I'm funding research; I'm not a researcher working in the field.
View Ben Lobb Profile
CPC (ON)
View Ben Lobb Profile
2011-03-02 17:10
Yes, I understand that.
I'll close with an experience that I've encountered. At one time, I was a competitive baseball player. You've talked about freezing once the adrenalin starts flowing. I always found relief pitchers interesting. You could warm up in the bullpen and throw strike after strike, but as soon as you crossed that line, you couldn't throw a strike to save your life. I know that's not PTSD, but it's to do with the adrenalin flow and all the--
Alain Beaudet
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Alain Beaudet
2011-03-02 17:10
It's the same thing. But it's because what you're describing is an extinguishing mechanism that works. That's the normal mechanism.
First of all, I find it very interesting--it's not fun, but it's very interesting--that such a high proportion of the population develops post-traumatic stress disorder. It makes us wonder why they have it and why there's a susceptibility. I believe there's a genetic buildup. There might have been a protective role at a certain point in developing that. It may have been protective to ensure avoidance of certain stresses by human beings—and I'm talking about millions of years ago—but it stayed in parts of our genes. It's clearly no longer very useful.
View Siobhan Coady Profile
Lib. (NL)
Thank you very much.
I certainly appreciate you being here today. I have a great deal of respect for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. I hope you continue to do great work.
I have a couple of questions.
I was in biotechnology. I had a company that looked at how genes affect human health and disease; that's why I'm so familiar with CIHR. Here's one of my questions, though. You talked earlier about a lot of the research that you were doing. I'm wondering how that research is being translated? Do you know of programs that have been developed and where we are in the cycle of the research?
Because it's great to do the research, and I applaud you for it and I think it's important, but how is that being translated to help today?
Results: 91 - 105 of 2664 | Page: 7 of 178

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