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Alyson Zalta, Ph.D
November 8, 2022 Free
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Exploring morning light therapy as a novel treatment for traumatic stress
Join the CNLM in a hybrid colloquium featuring Dr. Alyson Zalta, Associate Professor of Psychological Science at UC Irvine.
Trauma contributes to a wide variety of mental health problems including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, substance use, and suicidality. Although front-line psychotherapies and pharmacotherapies exist for traumatic stress, evidence suggests that many individuals fail to receive treatment, remain symptomatic despite treatment, or drop out of treatment before its conclusion. Uptake of these treatments is poor for several reasons including stigma, avoidance, unpleasant side effects, and poor accessibility. New treatments are needed for traumatic stress that can overcome these critical barriers to care while targeting the underlying biological mechanisms of the pathology. Morning light treatment has good potential as a novel non-invasive, low risk, scalable treatment for traumatic stress. Evidence suggests that morning light may improve traumatic stress by reducing reactivity in the amygdala, a brain region implicated in the pathophysiology of PTSD and anatomically linked to circadian photoreceptors in the eye. This seminar will describe the results of a randomized pilot trial that provides initial proof-of-concept that light treatment can improve traumatic stress and preliminary results from an ongoing randomized clinical trial aimed at evaluating the brain mechanisms underlying morning light therapy for traumatic stress.
This event will be held in-person in the Herklotz Conference Center and virtually via Zoom.