Empirical Assessment of Lanius et al.s' 'Functional MRI of EMDR in Peacekeepers', a Review of the EMDR Literature and an Annotated Bibliography


  1. Thompson, M.M.
  2. Pastò, L.
  3. McCreary, D.R.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
This report reviews a research proposal, the major objective of which is to assess the relation between PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and limbic, paralimbic, and prefrontal brain function as assessed with functional MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and to determine whether an Eye Movement Desensitization Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) intervention causes those structures to return to a normal mode of functioning. The proposed study secondarily explores the effectiveness of EMDR in reducing PTSD symptomatology. While the first and second objectives of the study may have scientific merit, the mandates of other funding agencies would appear to be more appropriate for investigations of basic neuroscience processes associated with brain functioning in PTSD (e.g., NSERC or CIHR). Importantly, a critical review of the EMDR research reveals that a great deal of controversy surrounds the effectiveness of this therapy. EMDR has not been shown to be more effective than presently validated PTSD exposure-based therapies, and the eye movement component of EMDR appears to provide no therapeutic benefit. Finally, there is a lack of clarity around specific items listed in the proposed budget. Given these concerns it is not recommended that this proposal be funded at this time.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

Combat stress;Post traumatic stress;Magnetic Resonance Imaging;Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TM-2002-025 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Jul 2002
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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