Volunteers wanted for PTSD study of treatment some call a miracle
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A treatment involving the injection of a local anesthetic next to a bundle of nerves in the neck has eased post-traumatic stress symptoms in some patients in as little as 30 minutes with dramatic, lasting results.
Now, the Pentagon is funding a study at three Army medical centers to determine if the technique — long used for the treatment of pain — is truly effective in treating PTSD.
The results from the largest random, controlled trial using the stellate ganglion block could revolutionize the way PTSD — considered a mental illness — is viewed and treated, according to doctors familiar with the experimental procedure.
“It really is the tipping point,” Col. James Lynch, command surgeon for U.S. Special Operations Command Africa in Stuttgart, who has seen firsthand the promising effects of the shot, said about the current trial.
“It has the potential to be a huge game changer for many, many affected people with PTSD,” whether from combat, sexual assault or other trauma, he said. “There’s really not been a great answer for this giant population.”
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