Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (USA), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after an exposure to a terrifying event in which our life or that of others was threatened. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, research on PTSD has dramatically increased.

Directed by Alain Brunet, PhD, this research laboratory studies the impact of traumatic events, concentrating primarily on:

  • The risk of developing PTSD
  • The role of the Internet in helping victims of trauma, their loved ones and professionals
  • The development of effective preventive treatments

Ongoing Projects

Propranolol: A pill to reduce the intensity of the traumatic memory

An old memory becomes fragile and unstable when one recalls it. To be solidified, it must undergo a process of reconsolidation into a long term memory. There exist a drug, propranolol, which can block the process of reconsolidation of the emotional memory. This can have a considerable impact in the treatment of the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disorder in which the memory of fright is essential for the symptoms. In this ongoing project, the research team examines if the blockage of the reconsolidation of traumatic memories is efficient in diminishing the symptoms of PTSD. Propranolol will be given in conjunction with a session of reactivation of the traumatic memory, in order to reduce the emotional intensity of the memory. Preliminary results are encouraging, as the symptoms of PTSD diminish by more than 50% in only six treatment sessions.

Info-trauma: Impact of new technologies on the field of mental health

Info-trauma is an internet site with information, diagnosis and orientation for the victims of traumatic events and their loved ones. It’s also a web site for university training, aid in crisis management, and research for the professionals in the field of mental health.
Info-trauma web site is available at

Alain Brunet's latest research


Director, Research Laboratory on Psychological Trauma
Alain Brunet, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and an associated professor at the Department of psychiatry, McGill University.

Research coordinator
Andrea Ashbaugh, PhD
Christophe Herbert, PhD candidate, Info-trauma program
Daniel Saumier

Nelson Azoulay
Ariel Dahan
Annie-Claude David
Isabelle Gagnon
Evan Kelso
Michelle Lonergan
Megan Mahabir
Eva Monson
Marina Nelson
Joaquin Poundja
Valérie Sirois-Delisle
Émilie Thomas-Bélanger
Geeta Thakur


Marale Ghazarian


Douglas Institute
Research Laboratory on Psychological Trauma
Perry Pavilion, E-4114
6875 LaSalle Boulevard
Montreal, Quebec H4H 1R3

Marale Ghazarian, administrative assistant
Tel.: 514-761-6131, ext. 2375

Christophe Herbert, PhD candidate, project coordinator, Info-Trauma
Tel.: 514-761-6131, ext. 2368