While thousands of veterans continue to suffer from the effects of PTSD, the search goes on to find a cure.
At the University of Texas at Austin, researchers are finding some new and very encouraging treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder. Joining us to talk about that is UT Professor Dr. Michael Telch who is with the Clinical Psychology Department.
According to Dr. Michael Telch , as many as two-thirds to three-fourths of patients suffering from combat PTSD achieve a positive outcome with more specialized learning based treatments.
What are specialized learning based treatments?
The core element that's effective is the structured revisiting of the trauma memory under controlled conditions. This is where they close their eyes and bring up all the sensory information from the trauma. It is done repeatedly and allows the memory to digest and allows the person to move on...
Similar to most people after trauma it normalizes naturally, this particular treatment seems to do that.
Dr. Michael Telch says UT is experimenting with a number of cognitive boosters.
They have a treatment that's been shown to be helpful and they're trying to make it better.
One way to do that is to try to enhance the brain's capacity to learn from these treatments. In one study, researchers gave a cognitive enhancer called mythelene blue after the session... It works as a metabolic brain enhancer to allow the patient to benefit more from the therapy session then if they had a placebo.
Researchers were doing what they call low light therapy. Low light is used to the forehead for 8 minutes after the therapy session is over and that is designed to enhance the learning from the therapy session. It's not to calm them down but to enhance the therapy, like a power bar for the brain.
If anyone's interested in taking part in one of these studies, contact Dr. Michael Telch and you will receive treatment at no cost to you. Dr. Michael Telch can be reached at UTAnxiety.com or 512-404-9118.