New Research into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


Researchers work diligently to prevent and treat the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, one of the most prominent veteran illnesses today. PTSD is not exclusive to the military, but veterans are helping to draw attention to this debilitating illness. Increasingly expensive treatments created a need for scientists to find new, more effective ways to treat the psychological condition.

In one experiment, professors Joseph Zohar and Hagit Cohen may have found that a single dose of common medication, cortisone, could reduce the likelihood of developing PTSD. Using a double-blind study, Zohar and Cohen discovered that patients who had received a shot of cortisone were more than 60 percent less likely to develop PTSD. They will expand this small pilot study with a $1.3 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.

A joint effort by Stanford and Palo Alto Veterans Affairs is allowing Dr. Amit Etkin to map the brain activity of patients using magnetic resonance imaging. Using these MRI photographs, he is working to understand how the brain repairs itself in order to regulate emotions. Etkin is hoping to use magnetic stimulation to activate the same neural pathways that are activated by standard psychotherapy, in an effort to provide a more effective treatment for PTSD.

For those of you with an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, an application has been made available in the App Store. Users can track their PTSD symptoms, find links to public and personalized sources of support, are provided with accurate information about PTSD, and are taught helpful strategies for managing symptoms on the go. The app is one of the first in a series of resources aimed at helping veterans meet the challenges of readjustment and get anonymous assistance, created by the VA National Center for PTSD and the Department of Defense’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology.

With new technology and research being developed every day, it is imperative that those suffering from PTSD look into these resources. If you or anyone you know is currently suffering from PTSD, seek help at your local VA hospital or Veterans Affairs online.


Photo thanks to mohammadali under creative commons license on Flickr.

11 thoughts on “New Research into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”

  1. although I am a viet-era vet and now pd/ssi … I aquired my diagnosis of ptsd after being involved in a house fire .. and that is what ended my work career .. the sound of sirens and the smell of smoke still bothers me and terrifies me .. it has been three years and I am still feeling the effects of the ptsd .. and yes a phd psych diagnosed me in the bur hospital ..

  2. I just went to see my VA psy. yesterday and told him I need to see a counselor, but even though I still suffer from anxiety he said I do not need to see a counselor, because I told him I fforgive people that hurt me, but still have the axiety. he just keeps giving me nerve pills, they don’t really help, I have spastic colon that goes with it, but have the spasms everyday, all day. Now I was in the hospital and found that I may have stomach cancer, find out in two weeks, what can I do to make my axiety better, if not to late. Have acid reflux because of it.

  3. “Cortisone, given at the right dose at the right time…”
    Rolling the dice, grab bag, crystal ball? When is the “right time” and how much is the right dosage?
    Sounds like this guy has stumbled onto a scheme to get rich at tax payer expense .
    I’ve read the report, too many variables and no one, not even the individual suffering from the PTSD can predict when an episode will occur. Can anyone offer evidence other wise?

    Granted more needs to learned and more needs to be done to help Vets who suffer from PTSD but his plan is too full of holes to do anything more than what I said. Make him and his cronies a lot of money at tax payer expense.

  4. my husband suffers from PTSD thanks to viet-nam. the va took him off of all medications that were working for him and gave him a vietnamese phsch who does nothing. she wouldn’t even reccomend him for serviceconnected. he is drawing a 70 % non-connected and after 8 years no one helps with that either. and we don’t beleive in miracle drugs.

  5. Benjamin Montgomery

    It’s at least a start to help those who suffer the effects of PTSD, combat and non-combat related. To see scientists finally recognize that PTSD is not specific to combat is a blessing in itself respective to research and future clinical findings. So far as research at the tax payer’s expense, don’t forget that clinical research is how many diseases have been cured. You likely know someone whos life is owed to brilliant minds and scientific research. I agree with the statements about the financial burden, but where would we be without such compromise? Think about how much money is being spent by the tax paying American public to pay contractors to rebuild Iraq, not to mention just the cost of the wars alone that our brothers and sisters fought for and have died for, when it’s likely we had no business being there to begin with. We owe every veteran who suffers with PTSD an opportunity at a better life and science may very well prove to provide the solution. If you don’t have PTSD, please at least support those veterans who do, because a solution has to begin somewhere.

  6. I have PTSD. Of all the reading research ive done there is no cure. Im in a research program for the 1 1/2 months and its helping. No more nightmares, reduced anxiety. The program is through the VA. So far….so good

  7. Dr. and scientists us to think electroshock therapy was good. the best way to combat PTSD. is to stop sending us to combat, and giving us PTSD.
    I support our troops 110%. But i no longer support the idea of war after doing numerous deployments and seeing the true outcome.

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