Many members of the military return home suffering from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. Therapy and medication have been the main form of treatment for this disorder. However, now, a recent clinical trial has found that an injection may be an effective treatment for PTSD.
Results of an Army-funded clinical trial on 108 active-duty service members have found that an injection in the neck is an effective treatment for PTSD. The injection is called a stellate ganglion block or SGB. Two injections were given to the patients two weeks apart. Two-thirds of the patients received the SGB injection while one-third received placebos. All patients took the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale assessment before the treatment and eight weeks after the treatment.
The trial found that the SGB injections reduced PTSD symptoms at a rate close to twice that of placebos. Researchers were surprised by the magnitude of the difference. Army physicians believe that this is the definitive controlled trial and that the injection should now be available as part of PTSD treatment plans.
During an SGB procedure, a doctor injects a local anesthetic deep into the stellate ganglion, which is a cluster of nerves in the neck. An ultrasound is used to pinpoint the accuracy of the injection. These nerves are used to help regulate the body's "fight or flight" response. This response can become erratic in people with PTSD, and it is believed that the injection can help regulate the response. Researchers aren’t quite sure how the injections work, but they know that they do work.
Reports of marked improvement as a result of the injection have come from veterans, first responders, and victims of childhood trauma. Marine Sergeant Henry Coto reported to Bill Whitaker of 60 Minutes that the injection was life-changing. He believed that without the injection, he would have either died or ended up in jail.
If you or a loved one has a mental disability and has been arrested or convicted of a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Elizabeth Kelley specializes in representing individuals with mental disabilities. To schedule a consultation call (509) 991-7058.
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