With nearly 1.8 million U.S. soldiers having rotated through Iraq and Afghanistan and another troop escalation expected in coming weeks, researchers are doing double-time to define the causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to better serve troops returning from war. With two wars going and no end in sight, scientists have quite an abundance of subjects on which to carry out their research.
By Gregory MonePosted 08.06.2007 at 3:16 pm 2 Comments
Psychologists have begun using virtual reality to help veterans deal with post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The Office of Naval of Research first started funding the work in 2005, encouraging several different groups to test how virtual reality might help soldiers with a disorder that may effect as many as 30 percent of Iraq war veterans.
The technique, which has been used to treat a variety of phobias, essentially forces the soldiers to revisit all the horrors of war. Wearing head-mounted displays, ear phones and sitting on rattling chairs, soldiers are immersed in a virtual battle zone. Bombs shake their Humvees. They patrol simulated versions of potentially dangerous villages. In some set-ups, the researchers can even incorporate the smell of gun fire or burning rubber to heighten the sense of reality. And there have been some encouraging results. In one study, conducted jointly at San Diego's Naval Medical Center and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, six out of eight veterans who received virtual reality treatment improved.—Gregory Mone
A routine heart drug shows promise as a way to blunt bad memories
By Michael RosenwaldPosted 05.01.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Clinical psychologist Alain Brunet of McGill University in Montreal doesn´t usually torture his patients. But lately he has been pressing those with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to relive emotionally scarring incidents. For some it´s rape, others battlefield trauma. When his patients get particularly upset-crying, shaking, blood pressure rising-he gives them a 25-year-old hypertension drug called propranolol. The idea, though, is not to lower their blood pressure.