Published on November 29, 2011 at 6:27 AM
"This study strongly suggests that both post traumatic stress disorder and the post concussion syndrome of mild traumatic brain injury are treatable nearly three years after injury," concludes Dr. Paul Harch, who is also Medical Director of the LSU Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Care Department. "The magnitude of the improvements in memory, executive function, functional brain imaging, and quality of life, as well as reduction in concussion and PTSD symptoms cannot be explained with a placebo effect."
Blast-induced TBI and PTSD are diagnoses of particular concern in the United States because of the volume of affected servicemen and women from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. A 2008 Rand Report estimates that 300,000 (18.3%) of 1.64 million military service members who have deployed to these war zones have PTSD or major depression and 320,000 (19.5%) have experienced a TBI. Overall, approximately 546,000 have TBI, PCS, or PTSD and 82,000 have symptoms of all three.
Evidence-based treatment for PTSD exists, but problems with access to and quality of treatment have been problematic in the military setting. Treatment of the symptomatic manifestation of mild TBI, the PCS, is limited. Treatment consists of off-label use of FDA blackbox labeled psychoactive medications, counseling, stimulative, and adaptive strategies. There is no effective treatment for the combined diagnoses of PCS and PTSD.
Further studies in Veterans are underway to confirm the present findings.
Source: Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center