This article provides a comprehensive review of the literature on the neurocognitive impact of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and reports on a quantitative single-case study, which investigated whether eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy would change the neuropsychological and physiological responses of an 18-year-old female client diagnosed with comorbid PTSD and major depressive disorder. Eleven 90-minute weekly sessions of EMDR therapy were provided. We used biofeedback equipment (ProComp5 Infiniti System) to obtain records of heart rate and conductance while the participant was in the desensitization and reprocessing phases of EMDR therapy. Results showed a heart rate decrease between baselines at the beginning and end of treatment. Neuropsychological evaluations of attention, memory, and brain executive functions showed pretreatment impairments in attentional processes, information processing speed, and working memory and posttreatment improvement of these cognitive functions, with significant differences on the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test. We found a substantial posttreatment decrease in mean scores on the Beck Depression Inventory-II and the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Furthermore, the patient showed no signs of PTSD after the intervention, based on the Posttraumatic Stress Global Scale. At 1-year follow-up, the participant reported maintenance of treatment effects. We discuss how amelioration of PTSD symptoms was associated with improved neurocognitive outcomes.
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Copyright © 2015 EMDR International Association
Aranda, B. D. E., Ronquillo, N. M., & Calvillo, M. E. N. (2015). Neuropsychological and Physiological Outcomes Pre- and Post-EMDR Therapy for a Woman With PTSD: A Case Study. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 9(4), 174-187. https://doi.org/10.1891/1933-3184.108.40.206
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research