The number of active-duty military and veterans diagnosed with PTSD continues to climb, and to this point, there hasn’t been a very promising treatment plan. That may be changing soon, as a relatively new treatment is looking for volunteers to participate in a new study.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) starts when a person experiences a traumatic incident, and is marked by depression, anxiety, flashbacks, aggression, fear, and hyper-vigilance. Until now, treatments ranged from counseling and medication to the use of medical marijuana, but for many, nothing has been found to provide relief.
Now, the US Defense Department has awarded a grant to RTI International, a research facility, to look into a treatment that has seen some improvement oversees. Right now they are looking for active duty personnel to undergo treatment in Fort Bragg, NC, Honolulu, Hawaii, or Landstuhl, Germany.
The treatment is called a stellate ganglion block, and was originally designed to help menopausal women with hot flashes. It involves getting two injections two weeks apart in the neck. Two-thirds of participants will get the local anesthetic believed to help PTSD, while one-third will get a placebo. The procedure only takes about 15 minutes.
It is believed the anesthetic affects the nerves, and, in a way, resets them to levels they were at before the trauma. Those who have gotten the treatment overseas have reported that it is not only effective, but immediate, with a noticeable difference in about 30 minutes. Occasionally, another injection is needed to get the desired reaction.
The study will run through November of 2017, and hopefully at that point there will be more scientific research to defend whether this treatment is effective or not. If you are a current or former member of the military dealing with PTSD and feel you need help with disability benefits, contact us.