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Education ?

Medical School Score Rankings
Northwestern University (1966)
Top 50%

Awards & Distinctions ?

University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine
Professor Emeritus
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Affiliations ?

Dr. Schoenfeld is affiliated with 2 hospitals.

Hospital Affiliations



  • UCSF Medical Center / Moffitt-Long Hospitals
    521 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94143
    Top 25%
  • San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center
    4150 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121
  • Publications & Research

    Dr. Schoenfeld has contributed to 12 publications.
    Title No Improvement of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms with Guanfacine Treatment.
    Date February 2007
    Journal The American Journal of Psychiatry

    OBJECTIVE: The authors report an 8-week, double-blind, randomized controlled trial of guanfacine versus placebo for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). METHOD: Veterans with chronic PTSD who were medication-free or receiving stable pharmacotherapy were randomly assigned to guanfacine (N=29) versus placebo (N=34). RESULTS: Guanfacine had no effect on PTSD symptoms, subjective sleep quality, or general mood disturbances. Guanfacine was associated with a number of side effects. CONCLUSIONS: These results do not support the use of alpha 2 agonists in veterans with chronic PTSD.

    Title Current Concepts in Pharmacotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
    Date September 2004
    Journal Psychiatric Services (washington, D.c.)

    OBJECTIVE: This article describes current approaches to the pharmacologic treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and reviews the classes of pharmacologic agents used in the treatment of PTSD. Pharmacotherapy for PTSD that is comorbid with other psychiatric disorders is highlighted. METHODS: The primary-source literature was reviewed by using a MEDLINE search. Secondary-source review articles and chapters were also used. Results from studies of the psychophysiology of PTSD are outlined in the review to help inform treatment choices. The review gives more consideration to controlled studies than to open clinical trials. Recommendations for treatment are evidence based. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: A growing body of evidence demonstrates the efficacy of pharmacologic treatment for PTSD. The effectiveness of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors sertraline and paroxetine in large-scale, well-designed, placebo-controlled trials resulted in their being the first medications to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of PTSD. Observation of psychophysiologic alterations associated with PTSD has led to the study of adrenergic-inhibiting agents and mood stabilizers as therapeutic agents. Controlled clinical trials with these classes of medication are needed to determine their efficacy for treating PTSD. Finally, the choice of medication for treating PTSD is often determined by the prominence of specific PTSD symptoms and the pattern of comorbid psychiatric conditions.

    Title Delta Sleep Response to Metyrapone in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
    Date October 2003
    Journal Neuropsychopharmacology : Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

    Metyrapone blocks cortisol synthesis, which results in the stimulation of hypothalamic cortiocotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and a reduction in delta sleep. We examined the effect of metyrapone administration on endocrine and sleep measures in male subjects with and without chronic PTSD. We hypothesized that metyrapone would result in a decrease in delta sleep and that the magnitude of this decrease would be correlated with the endocrine response. Finally, we utilized the delta sleep response to metyrapone as an indirect measure of hypothalamic CRF activity and hypothesized that PTSD subjects would have decreased delta sleep at baseline and a greater decrease in delta sleep induced by metyrapone. Three nights of polysomnography were obtained in 24 male subjects with combat-related PTSD and 18 male combat-exposed normal controls. On day 3, metyrapone was administered during normal waking hours until habitual sleep onset preceding night 3. Endocrine responses to metyrapone were measured in plasma obtained the morning following sleep recordings, the day before and after administration. Repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted to compare the endocrine and sleep response to metyrapone in PTSD and controls. PTSD subjects had significantly less delta sleep as indexed by stages 3 and 4, and total delta integrated amplitude prior to metyrapone administration. There were no differences in premetyrapone cortisol or ACTH levels in PTSD vs controls. PTSD subjects had a significantly decreased ACTH response to metyrapone compared to controls. Metyrapone caused an increase in awakenings and a marked decrease in quantitative measures of delta sleep that was significantly greater in controls compared to PTSD. The decline in delta sleep was significantly associated with the magnitude of increase in both 11-deoxycortisol and ACTH. The results suggest that the delta sleep response to metyrapone is a measure of the brain response to increases in hypothalamic CRF. These data also suggest that the ACTH and sleep EEG response to hypothalamic CRF is decreased in PTSD.

    Title Temporal Instability of Auditory and Visual Event-related Potentials in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
    Date July 2003
    Journal Biological Psychiatry

    BACKGROUND: We examined P300 measures in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and control subjects at two different time points to determine event-related potential (ERP) stability over time and the relationship of changes in ERPs to changes in symptom levels. METHODS: Auditory and visual P300 was recorded in a three-condition novelty oddball task in 25 male subjects with combat-related PTSD and 15 male combat-exposed normal control subjects at two time points separated by 6-12 months. Regression analyses were conducted to compare the temporal stability of ERP measures in PTSD and control subjects. Variability in ERP measures over time within PTSD subjects was examined for association with changes in symptom levels. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in P300 amplitude or latency in PTSD versus control subjects at either time point, regardless of stimulus type (target, novel) or modality (auditory, visual). Nine of 24 P300 measures were significantly less predictable over time in the PTSD group compared to control subjects. Variability of P300 measures over time was not associated with fluctuations in symptoms of depression or PTSD. CONCLUSIONS: P300 ERPs are more variable cross-sectionally and over time in PTSD subjects compared to trauma exposed control subjects. Measures of variability about the group mean appear to be more informative about the cognitive electrophysiology of PTSD than measures of central tendency.

    Title The Effect of Nefazodone on Subjective and Objective Sleep Quality in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
    Date June 2003
    Journal The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

    BACKGROUND: This study assesses the efficacy of nefazodone treatment (target dose of 400-600 mg/day) on objective and subjective sleep quality in Vietnam combat veterans with chronic DSM-IV posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). METHOD: Medically healthy male Vietnam theater combat veterans with DSM-IV PTSD (N = 10) completed a 12-week open-label trial. Two nights of ambulatory polysomnography were obtained at baseline and at the end of the trial. PTSD and depressive symptoms and subjective sleep quality were assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks. Data were collected in 1999 and 2000. RESULTS: Nefazodone treatment led to a significant decrease in PTSD and depressive symptoms (p <.05), an improvement in global subjective sleep quality, and a reduction in nightmares. Nefazodone also resulted in a substantial improvement in objective measures of sleep quality, particularly increased total sleep time, sleep maintenance, and delta sleep as measured by period amplitude analysis. CONCLUSION: Nefazodone therapy results in an improvement of both subjective and objective sleep quality in subjects with combat-related PTSD.

    Title New Directions in the Pharmacotherapy of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
    Date March 2003
    Journal The Psychiatric Quarterly

    Advances in psychopharmacology of PTSD are presented, focusing on antidepressants, adrenergic agents, antianxiety agents, and mood stabilizers. Treatment recommendations are related to recent advances in the understanding of the biology of PTSD. Pharmacotherapy of PTSD in children and adolescents is discussed, including recommended dose ranges. Recommendations are specified for pharmacotherapy of trauma survivors in the immediate aftermath of traumatic exposure, and for those with acute and chronic posttraumatic stress disorders.

    Title Fluvoxamine and Sleep Disturbances in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
    Date February 2002
    Journal Journal of Traumatic Stress

    This study assesses the efficacy of fluvoxamine treatment on different domains of subjective sleep quality in Vietnam combat veterans with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Medically healthy male Vietnam theater combat veterans (N = 21) completed a 10-week open label trial. Fluvoxamine treatment led to improvements in PTSD symptoms and all domains of subjective sleep quality. The largest effect was for dreams linked to the traumatic experience in combat. In contrast, generic unpleasant dreams showed only a modest response to treatment. Sleep maintenance insomnia and the item "troubled sleep" showed a large treatment response, whereas sleep onset insomnia improved less substantially. These therapeutic benefits contrast with published reports that have found activating effects of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors on the sleep electroencephalogram.

    Title Sensory Gating in Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Reduced Auditory P50 Suppression in Combat Veterans.
    Date February 2000
    Journal Biological Psychiatry

    BACKGROUND: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be associated with a general impairment of cognitive function that extends beyond the processing of trauma-specific stimuli. Suppression of the auditory P50 response to repeated stimuli occurs in normal subjects and reflects the central nervous system's ability to screen out repetitive stimuli, a phenomenon referred to as sensory gating. This study examines P50 sensory gating to nonstartle auditory stimuli in PTSD subjects and normal controls. METHODS: P50 generation and gating were studied using a conditioning/testing paradigm in 15 male subjects with PTSD and 12 male controls. P50 test/conditioning (T/C) ratios were estimated using the Singular Value Decomposition method. RESULTS: The amplitude of the P50 response to the conditioning stimulus did not differ in subjects with PTSD compared to normal controls. The P50 T/C ratio is increased in PTSD subjects (mean = .408, SD = .275) as compared to the controls (mean = .213, SD = .126, two tailed t, p = .024). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that PTSD is associated with impaired gating to nonstartle trauma-neutral auditory stimuli.

    Title Sleep Disturbances in the Vietnam Generation: Findings from a Nationally Representative Sample of Male Vietnam Veterans.
    Date July 1998
    Journal The American Journal of Psychiatry

    OBJECTIVE: This study analyzed questionnaire items that address complaints about sleep from the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study, a nationally representative sample of the 3.1 million men and women who served in Vietnam. This study compared the frequency of nightmares and difficulties with sleep onset and sleep maintenance in male Vietnam theater veterans with male Vietnam era veteran and male civilian comparison subjects. It focused on the role of combat exposure, nonsleep posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, comorbid psychiatric and medical disorder, and substance abuse in accounting for different domains of sleep disturbance. METHOD: The authors undertook an archival analysis of the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study database using correlations and linear statistical models. RESULTS: Frequent nightmares were found exclusively in subjects diagnosed with current PTSD at the time of the survey (15.0%). In the sample of veterans who served in Vietnam (N = 1,167), combat exposure was strongly correlated with frequency of nightmares, moderately correlated with sleep onset insomnia, and weakly correlated with disrupted sleep maintenance. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that in Vietnam theater veterans, 57% of the variance in the frequency of nightmares was accounted for by war zone exposure and non-sleep-related PTSD symptoms. Alcohol abuse, chronic medical illnesses, panic disorder, major depression, and mania did not predict the frequency of nightmares after control for nonsleep PTSD symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Frequent nightmares appear to be virtually specific for PTSD. The nightmare is the domain of sleep disturbance most related to exposure to war zone traumatic stress.

    Title Lithium for Irritability in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
    Date May 1995
    Journal Journal of Traumatic Stress

    Irritability is often a problem for patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We describe two cases that illustrate the use of lithium in the treatment of veterans with PTSD who complained of serious problems with irritability or angry outbursts. These cases are discussed in the context of evidence that lithium may be useful in other patients with disorders of impulse control. The evidence linking disorders of anger and impulse control to a dysregulation in neurotransmitter regulation, particularly in serotonergic pathways, supports a psychopharmacologic approach to treatment. These findings should lead to further study of the role of lithium in the treatment of this symptom complex in patients with PTSD.

    Title Role of Vascular Insufficiency in Drug-induced Small Bowel Ulceration.
    Date May 1967
    Journal American Journal of Surgery
    Title Circulatory Changes in Acute Pancreatitis.
    Date March 1967
    Journal The Surgical Clinics of North America

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