In 2011, Scott Anderson (AEU Founder) read an article in the Economist related to Attention Bias Modification Treatment (ABMT). This treatment was being studied by Dr. Yair Bar-Haim at Tel Aviv University in Israel. A year later, AEU teamed up with Dr. Amy Badura Brack at Creighton, Dr. Tony Wilson at UNMC and Dr. Bar-Haim to undertake the first trial in the United States, and one of only two trials in the world, testing the effectiveness of ABMT on PTSD. In 2015, Dr. Badura Brack’s work was published in two national journals: The American Journal of Psychiatry and Cognition and Emotion in addition to a few smaller journals.
The first phase of the clinical trials has been a huge success. Dr. Badura Brack and Dr. Bar-Haim both came to the same conclusion: Attention Control Training (ACT) is more effective than ABMT in military personnel with PTSD. An unexpected outcome was the literally moment to moment fluctuations when the vet is focused on the task at hand. All participants had improvement to some degree beyond the clinical threshold.
Our next step will be to test this web-based version of attention training for PTSD to hopefully replicate its treatment efficacy, demonstrate its utility in a web-based delivery format, and extend its scope to include treatment resistant veterans, women, and people with trauma related to community violence. At Ease USA has secured much of the funding necessary and has begun preliminary work to begin the next phase of these trials which should take approximately three years to complete. We are excited by these findings and the possible treatments that could be offered in the future for those suffering with PTSD.
In April of 2012, At Ease USA launched a clinical trial of a promising new therapeutic intervention at Creighton University. The therapy called “Attention Bias Modification Treatment,” or ABMT, was developed by Dr. Yair Bar-Haim, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and Head of the School of Psychological Sciences at Tel Aviv University, who was in Omaha for the launch of this research. In this new clinical trial, lead