Dr. Barbara Rothbaum, Professor in Psychiatry and Director of the Trauma and Anxiety Program at Emory University School of Medicine,” believes current research is leading to better treatment of PTSD and may one day help prevent it.” She notes that the Institute of Medicine recently reported that only exposure treatment, a type of therapy in which PTSD patients confront their traumatic memories through talking, has sufficient evidence to recommend it.
With funding from NIMH, she is studying how D-cycloserine, an antibiotic, affects how Iraq War veterans experience fear.”
We know how fear is turned on and off, where in the brain it occurs, and what drugs facilitate or inhibit it. D-cycloserine has been shown to reduce fear and make exposure therapy go faster. “ Also, with NIMH support, Dr. Rothbaum is beginning to look at ways to change traumatic memories before they are consolidated in the brain, and perhaps prevent PTSD altogether.
Questions to ask your health care professional are, how do I know I have PTSD; if so, can I be cured, what treatments are available, are there things to make my PTSD worse, and If I have a blow to the head, is there a chance I could have PTSD or even mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), how can I tell?
For additional information go to www.nimh.nih.gov and www.ncptsd.va.gov/. Remember that PTSD is a silent disorder that can explode at any time. Know the warning signs and become educated.
Speak to you again next week.
Jim Vines is commander of AmVets Post 133.