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Sighing May Help Improve Lung Function

By Honor Whiteman

Scientists have pinpointed the brain cells responsible for sighing and how it is crucial to proper lung function.

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Jack Feldman, a professor of neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), and colleagues publish the details of their discovery in the journal Nature.

According to Feldman, a sigh is a deep breath, but it is not a voluntary one. “It starts out as a normal breath, but before you exhale, you take a second breath on top of it.”

The average person sighs every 5 minutes – equating to around 12 times an hour. This may sound excessive, but we need to sigh this frequently in order for our lungs to function properly.

Sighing is required in order to inflate the alveoli in the lungs – the tiny sacs that enable oxygen and carbon dioxide to move between the lungs and the bloodstream. However, some of these alveoli can collapse.

“When alveoli collapse, they compromise the ability of the lung to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide,” explains Feldman. “The only way to pop them open again is to sigh, which brings in twice the volume of a normal breath. If you don’t sigh, your lungs will fail over time.”

Two groups of neurons found to control sighing
While sighing is crucial to health, there are situations when it can become a problem.

Sighing can increase in response to psychological stress, meaning people with depression, anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses may experience excessive sighing that becomes debilitating.
There are two groups of around 200 neurons (highlighted) in the brain stem that control sighing.

On the other hand, there are some conditions that make it difficult for a person to sigh, such as respiratory problems, meaning their lung function may be compromised.

For their study, Feldman and colleagues set out to gain a better understanding of what role the brain plays in sighing and breathing rhythm – information that could one day help people who experience debilitating sighs or who have difficulty sighing.

Previous research has identified peptides in the brain – including frog bombesin – that can influence sighing in rodents, though the mechanisms underlying the release of such peptides have been unclear.

With the aim of unraveling this mystery, the researchers analyzed more than 19,000 gene expression patterns in the brain cells of mice, identifying around 200 neurons, or brain cells, in the brain stem that are responsible for the production and release of bombesin-like peptides.

Further investigation revealed that these peptides stimulated another group of 200 neurons that led the breathing muscles of mice to significantly increase the number of sighs produced, from around 40 an hour to more than 400.

“These molecular pathways are critical regulators of sighing and define the core of a sigh-control circuit,” says study coauthor Mark Krasnow, a professor of biochemistry at Stanford University School of Medicine in California. Read More…
Article Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306281.php

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2016 in General

 

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PDResources Sweet on CE Sale – Buy 3 Courses Get 1 Free

Roses may be red, but nothing beats free. This weekend, enjoy a free CEU course with every 3 you buy during our Valentine’s – Presidents’ Day Sweet on CE Sale:

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Add any 4 courses to your shopping cart and the lowest priced 4th course will automatically deduct at checkout. Courses must be purchased together. Offer valid on future orders only. One free course per order.

You can also use a coupon to stock up on CEUs and sweeten the savings :).

Hurry, sale ends Monday, February 15, 2016Shop now.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Your friends in CE,

Gina, Carmen, Cathy & Leo

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Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 

 

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Coping with Stress Depends on Mind and Body Regulation

By the American Friends of Tel Aviv University

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How our mind and body copes with stress depends on our ability to regulate it.

Poor recovery from extremely stressful encounters can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, or even chronic somatic dysfunction (such as pain and fatigue) in some people. Insight into the multi-level sequence of events — from cellular changes to brain function, emotional responses, and observed behavior — will help medical professionals make more informed decisions concerning interventions.

A new Tel Aviv University study published in PLOS ONE provides it. Researchers have used cutting-edge genetic research and brain imaging technologies to determine that the brain function responsible for regulating our stress response intertwines with molecular regulatory elements to produce a personal profile of resilience to stress. Their findings may lead to a future blood test that would facilitate preventive or early intervention in professions prone to high stress or trauma (combat soldiers and policemen, for example).

The research was led jointly by Prof. Talma Hendler of TAU’s Sagol School of Neuroscience and the Director of the Functional Brain Center at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Dr. Noam Shomron of TAU’s Sagol School of Neuroscience and Sackler School of Medicine. Research for the study was conducted by TAU doctoral students Dr. Sharon Vaisvaser and Dr. Shira Modai.

The biological complexity of stress

“We can’t look at one measurement at one point in time and think we have the whole picture of the stress response,” Prof. Hendler explained. “This is perhaps the first study to induce stress in the lab and look at resulting changes to three levels of the stress response — neural (seen in brain imaging), cellular (measured through epigenetics), and experience (assessed through behavioral report).”

“We found that vulnerability to stress is not only related to a predisposition due to a certain gene,” said Dr. Shomron. “The relevant gene can be expressed or not expressed according to a person’s experience, environment, and many other context-related factors.

“This type of interaction between the environment and our genome has been conceptualized lately as the ‘epigenetic process.’ It has become clear that these processes are of an utmost importance to our health and well being, and are probably, in some cases, above and beyond our predispositions.”

The research for this study was conducted on 49 healthy young male adults. Researchers integrated the analysis of fMRI images of brain function during an acute social stress task and also measured levels of microRNAs — small RNAs that exert potent regulatory effects — obtained in a blood test before and three hours after the induced stress. Dr. Vaisvaser explains, “Twenty minutes after the stress drill ended, we had two groups: the sustainers, those still stressed, and the recovered, those no longer stressed. The sustainers either didn’t go back to baseline or took much longer to do so.”

The researchers found that a specific alteration in the expression of the microRNA miR-29c was greater among the stress sustainers, implying a marker of slow recovery. Intriguingly, this change corresponded with modified connectivity of a major stress regulation node in the brain, the vento-medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC).

The researchers were able to interpret functions in the brain through RNA molecules tested in the blood. They found that miR-29c played a mediating role, linking the enhancement of vmPFC connectivity with the anterior insula, a core node in the saliency network, sustaining the feeling of stress.

From basic research to practical treatment

“We all need to react to stress; it’s healthy to react to something considered a challenge or a threat,” said Prof. Hendler. “The problem is when you don’t recover in a day, or a week, or more. This indicates your brain and’or body do not regulate properly and have a hard time returning to homeostasis (i.e., a balanced baseline). We found that this recovery involves both neural and epigenetic/cellular mechanisms, together contributing to our subjective experience of the stress.

“Knowing the brain metric that corresponds to such genetic vulnerability will make it possible to develop a personalized plan for brain-guided treatment based on a blood test.”

“If you can identify through a simple blood test those likely to develop maladaptive responses to stress, you can offer a helpful prevention or early intervention,” Dr. Shomron added.

“Conducting a collaborative interdisciplinary study is a great challenge,” said Dr. Vaisvaser. “But the challenge is worth it, opening up new ways of looking at dynamics between concurrent factors contributing to the overall experience of stress.”

The researchers are currently taking the study forward to look for the dynamic oscillations in the epigenetic markers of people suffering from stress disorders to confirm whether they can be modified via brain-targeted treatments. Article Source

Related Online Continuing Education Courses

Nearly every client who walks through a health professional’s door is experiencing some form of anxiety. Even if they are not seeking treatment for a specific anxiety disorder, they are likely experiencing anxiety as a side effect of other clinical issues. For this reason, a solid knowledge of anxiety management skills should be a basic component of every therapist’s repertoire. Clinicians who can teach practical anxiety management techniques have tools that can be used in nearly all clinical settings and client diagnoses. Anxiety management benefits the clinician as well, helping to maintain energy, focus, and inner peace both during and between sessions. The purpose of this course is to offer a collection of ready-to-use anxiety management tools.

 

This course will give you the mindfulness skills necessary to work directly, effectively and courageously, with your own and your client’s life struggles. Compassion towards others starts with compassion towards self. Practicing mindfulness cultivates our ability to pay intentional attention to our experience from moment to moment. Mindfulness teaches us to become patiently and spaciously aware of what is going on in our mind and body without judgment, reaction, and distraction, thus inviting into the clinical process, the inner strengths and resources that help achieve healing results not otherwise possible. Bringing the power of mindful presence to your clinical practice produces considerable clinical impact in the treatment of anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic pain, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, colitis/IBS, and migraines/tension headaches. The emphasis of this course is largely experiential and will offer you the benefit of having a direct experience of the mindfulness experience in a safe and supportive fashion. You will utilize the power of “taking the client there” as an effective technique of introducing the mindful experience in your practice setting. As you will learn, the mindfulness practice has to be experienced rather than talked about. This course will provide you with an excellent understanding of exactly what mindfulness is, why it works, and how to use it. You will also develop the tools that help you introduce mindful experiences in your practice, and how to deal with possible client resistance.

 

This CE test is based on the book “A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook” (2010, 224 pages). Stress and pain are nearly unavoidable in our daily lives; they are part of the human condition. This stress can often leave us feeling irritable, tense, overwhelmed, and burned-out. The key to maintaining balance is responding to stress not with frustration and self-criticism, but with mindful, nonjudgmental awareness of our bodies and minds. Impossible? Actually, it’s easier than it seems. In just weeks, you can learn mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), a clinically proven program for alleviating stress, anxiety, panic, depression, chronic pain, and a wide range of medical conditions. Taught in classes and clinics worldwide, this powerful approach shows you how to focus on the present moment in order to permanently change the way you handle stress. As you work through A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, you’ll learn how to replace stress-promoting habits with mindful ones-a skill that will last a lifetime.

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer online continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 

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Compulsive Facebook Checking Linked to Lack of Sleep

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By the University of California – Irvine

Study shows that compulsive Facebook checking may be linked to lack of sleep.

In a recently completed study, researchers at the University of California, Irvine demonstrated that lack of sleep — in addition to affecting busy college students’ moods and productivity — leads to more frequent online activities such as browsing Facebook.

“When you get less sleep, you’re more prone to distraction,” said lead researcher Gloria Mark, a UCI informatics professor. “If you’re being distracted, what do you do? You go to Facebook. It’s lightweight, it’s easy, and you’re tired.”

Sleep deprivation can lead to loss of productivity throughout the economy. It can cause workplace mishaps and make drivers fall asleep at the wheel. Experts in the field of human-computer interaction want to know how sleep loss impacts people so they can design better technologies and products.

“There have been lots of studies on how information technology affects sleep. We did the opposite: We looked at how sleep duration influences IT usage,” said Mark, who will present the findings at a leading computer-human interaction conference in May.

She and her colleagues collected data from 76 UCI undergraduates — 34 males and 42 females — for seven days during the spring 2014 quarter. The study controlled for students’ gender, age, course load and deadlines and relied on sensors to objectively gauge their behavior, activities and stress levels.

Students’ computers and smartphones were equipped with logging software, and time stamps recorded when subjects switched from one application window to another and when they spoke on the phone or texted. They were asked to fill out a sleep survey each morning and an end-of-day survey at night.

Participants also filled out a general questionnaire and sat for an exit interview. Periodically throughout the week, they received probing questions from researchers regarding their mood, the perceived difficulty of whatever task was at hand, and their level of engagement in their work.

Central to the study was a concept known as “sleep debt,” the accumulated difference between the amount of sleep needed and the amount experienced.

Mark said the study’s findings show a direct connection among chronic lack of sleep, worsening mood and greater reliance on Facebook browsing. She also found that the less sleep people have, the more frequently their attention shifts among different computer screens, suggesting heightened distractibility. Article Source

Continuing Education Courses on Social Media

Is it useful or appropriate (or ethical or therapeutic) for a therapist and a client to share the kinds of information that are routinely posted on Social Networking Services (SNS) like Facebook, Twitter, and others? How are psychotherapists to handle “Friending” requests from clients? What are the threats to confidentiality and therapeutic boundaries that are posed by the use of social media sites, texts, or tweets in therapist-client communication? The purpose of this course is to offer psychotherapists the opportunity to examine their practices in regard to the use of social networking services in their professional relationships and communications. Included are ethics topics such as privacy and confidentiality, boundaries and multiple relationships, competence, the phenomenon of friending, informed consent, and record keeping. A final section offers recommendations and resources for the ethical use of social networking and the development of a practice social media policy.

 

Bullies have moved from the playground and workplace to the online world, where anonymity can facilitate bullying behavior. Cyberbullying is intentional, repeated harm to another person using communication technology. It is not accidental or random. It is targeted to a person with less perceived power. This may be someone younger, weaker, or less knowledgeable about technology. Any communication device may be used to harass or intimidate a victim, such as a cell phone, tablet, or computer. Any communication platform may host cyberbullying: social media sites (Facebook, Twitter), applications (Snapchat, AIM), websites (forums or blogs), and any place where one person can communicate with – or at – another person electronically. The short and long-term effects of bullying are considered as significant as neglect or maltreatment as a type of child abuse. This course reviews evidenced-based research for identification, management and prevention of cyberbullying in children, adolescents and adults. It will describe specific cyberbullying behaviors, review theories that attempt to explain why bullying happens, list the damaging effects that befall its victims, and discuss strategies professionals can use to prevent or manage identified cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a fast-growing area of concern and all healthcare professionals should be equipped to spot the signs and provide support for our patients and clients, as well as keep up with the technology that drives cyberbullying.

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer online continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2016 in Continuing Education, General

 

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Beach Benefits – It’s Healthy to Live Oceanside

By Tanya Lewis

Beach Living

It looks like seaside living can have some very healthy advantages.

People often focus on the threats the ocean poses to human health, whether it’s storms and floods, harmful algal blooms or pollution. But research shows that spending time by the ocean has many positive effects on health and well-being, epidemiologist Lora Fleming of the University of Exeter in England, said here on Wednesday (June 26) at a science policy conference of the American Geophysical Union.

The notion that being near a beach makes one feel healthy is not new, of course. Doctors were prescribing trips to the shore or visits to “bathing hospitals” — special clinics that offered seawater bath treatments — as early as the 18th century. But only recently have scientists begun studying the ocean’s health benefits experimentally, Fleming said.

Fleming’s colleagues at the University of Exeter’s European Centre for the Environment and Human Health have begun a project called “Blue Gym” to study how natural water environments can be used to promote human health and well-being. [Stunning Sands Gallery: A Rainbow of Beaches]

In one experiment, study participants were shown photographs of ocean views, green fields or cities, and asked how much they were willing to pay for a hotel room with each of those views. People were willing to pay more for the room with an ocean view, the results showed.

When you put a person in a beach environment, “It’s not going to be any great surprise to you that people relax,” said study researcher Mathew White, an environmental psychologist at Exeter. The question, he said, is how many people experience such health effects, and how much they impact people’s health.

White and colleagues have also looked at census data in England to see how living near a coast affects people’s health. They found that people who lived closer to the coast reported better health.

It’s possible that the people living closest to the coast are simply wealthier and have better access to health care. But the study found that the health benefits of ocean proximity were greatest for socioeconomically deprived communities.

The researchers also looked at the effect of moving near a coast. Moving closer to the sea “significantly improves people’s well-being,” White said — by about a tenth as much as finding a new job. The seaside environment may reduce stress and encourage physical activity, he added.

The researchers are now doing lab experiments to study the physiological benefits of coastal life. In the experiments, people in stressful situations, such as dental surgery, look at either a virtual beach, or the dental room. The trial is ongoing, but early studies suggest people report feeling less pain when immersed in a beach setting.

These studies suggest ocean exposure could be a useful form of therapy, Fleming said. For instance, surfing might improve the well-being of troubled kids, she said.

Still, many questions remain. Future studies will need to consider whether children and other populations show the same benefits from coastal living, what the optimal “dose” of time spent at the ocean might be, and how long the health effects last.

It also remains unclear how growing human communities might affect the beach environment. It’s not going to be so great if everyone starts moving to the beach, Fleming said. Original Article

Follow Tanya Lewis on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience,Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.com.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2016 in General

 

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Louisiana OT Continuing Education Requirements

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There are new continuing education requirements for occupational therapists licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Twelve (12) hours of continuing education are required for license renewal. There are no limits for online CE courses if AOTA-approved.

Licenses expire on the last day of the birth month, every year.

Louisiana OT’s can earn all 12 hours for renewal through online courses available on the Occupational Therapy page of this website.

Click Here to View AOTA-approved online CEU’s!

 

Occupational Therapy Continuing Education Courses

This is the first course in a three part series and includes the story of Deirdre Rand’s journey with her animal companions and the lessons learned from the challenges and rewards of those relationships. Also discussed are temperament, socialization and training; the role of the neurohormone oxytocin in strengthening the human-companion animal bond; the founding of the three major organizations which register volunteer handler/therapy teams, along with the contributions of key historic figures in developing animal-assisted therapy as we know it today; examples of animal-assisted interventions with dogs, cats and other animals; and attributes of a great therapy animal and a great handler.

 

Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings. The most common workplace is schools, followed by private practice and hospitals. A growing number of occupational therapists, however, are working full or part-time in skilled nursing facilities as the population of the United States ages. Every practice setting has unique characteristics that affect clinical practice. Skilled nursing facilities have a multitude of regulations, complicated billing practices, and a culture of care that must be learned and integrated into the clinician’s treatment habits. This can make it difficult for the OT working part-time or PRN in a skilled nursing facility. This introductory course will provide an overview of the important aspects of long-term care that affect treatment, including the structure, organization and reimbursement system of skilled nursing facilities. The average resident and common treatment areas will also be discussed.

 

This is a test only course (book not included). The book (or e-book) can be purchased from Amazon. This CE test is based on the book “Treating Explosive Kids: The Collaborative Problem-Solving Approach” (2006, 246 pages). This book provides a detailed framework for effective, individualized intervention with highly oppositional children and their families. Many vivid examples and Q&A sections show how to identify the specific cognitive factors that contribute to explosive and noncompliant behavior, remediate these factors, and teach children and their adult caregivers how to solve problems collaboratively. The book also describes challenges that may arise in implementing the model and provides clear and practical solutions. Two special chapters focus on intervention in schools and in therapeutic/restrictive facilities.

 

Physical inactivity is among the most critical public health concerns in America today. For healthcare professionals, the creation and implementation of sustainable fitness solutions is a relevant cause. This course will help you become familiar with the physical and psychological rewards involved in the activity of running, identify risks and the most common running injuries – along with their symptoms and most probable causes – and describe strategies that can be used in preventing running injuries and developing a healthy individualized running regimen.

 

Medication for chronic pain is addictive; therefore, the treatment of individuals with both substance abuse disorders and pain presents particular challenges. This course is based on a document from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Managing Chronic Pain in Adults With or in Recovery from Substances Use Disorders: A Treatment Improvement Protocol (SAMHSA Tip 54). Intended for all healthcare providers, this document explains the close connections between the neurobiology of pain and addiction, assessments for both pain and addiction, procedures for treatment of chronic pain management (both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical), side effects and symptoms of tolerance and withdrawal from pain medication, managing risk of addiction to pain medication and nonadherence to treatment protocols, maintaining patient relationships, documentation, and safety issues. Written by panel consensus, SAMHSA TIP 54 provides a good introduction to pain management issues and also a good review for experienced clinicians.

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer online continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 
 

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Electric Patch Shows Promising Results for Treating PTSD

Electric Patch Showing Promising Results for Treating PTSDA new treatment in the form of an electric patch has been tested on 12 people with PTSD, and has shown to reduce symptoms according to a study at UCLA.

An average of 30 years had passed since the traumatic events that had left them depressed, anxious, irritable, hypervigilant, unable to sleep well and prone to nightmares.

But for 12 people who were involved in a UCLA-led study — survivors of rape, car accidents, domestic abuse and other traumas — an unobtrusive patch on the forehead provided considerable relief from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“We’re talking about patients for whom illness had almost become a way of life,” said Dr. Andrew Leuchter, the study’s senior author, a UCLA professor of psychiatry and director of the neuromodulation division at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. “Yet they were coming in and saying, ‘For the first time in years I slept through the night,’ or ‘My nightmares are gone.’ The effect was extraordinarily powerful.”

The research, which has been presented at three scholarly conferences and published in the journal Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface, revealed the first evidence that trigeminal nerve stimulation, or TNS, holds promise for treating chronic PTSD.

“Most patients with PTSD do get some benefit from existing treatments, but the great majority still have symptoms and suffer for years from those symptoms,” said Leuchter, who is also a staff psychiatrist at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. “This could be a breakthrough for patients who have not been helped adequately by existing treatments.”

Based on the study, which was conducted primarily with civilian volunteers, the scientists are recruiting military veterans, who are at an even greater risk for PTSD, for the next phase of their research.

TNS is a new form of neuromodulation, a class of treatment in which external energy sources are used to make subtle adjustments to the brain’s electrical wiring — sometimes with devices that are implanted in the body, but increasingly with external devices. The approach is gaining popularity for treating drug-resistant neurological and psychiatric disorders.

TNS harnesses current from a 9-volt battery to power a patch that is placed on the user’s forehead. While the person sleeps, the patch sends a low-level current to cranial nerves that run through the forehead, sending signals to parts of the brain that help regulate mood, behavior and cognition, including the amygdala and media prefrontal cortex, as well as the autonomic nervous system. Prior research has shown abnormal activity in those areas of the brains of PTSD sufferers.

“The chance to have an impact on debilitating diseases with this elegant and simple technology is very satisfying,” said Dr. Ian Cook, the study’s lead author.

Cook co-invented TNS at UCLA; now on leave from his faculty position, he is serving as chief medical officer at Los Angeles-based Neurosigma, Inc., which is licensing the technology and funding the research. Neurosigma is already marketing the technology overseas and has plans to make it available to patients in the U.S.
Article Source http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160128074309.htm

Continuing Education Courses on PTSD

With the wars in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq, a new generation of military veterans has arrived home, requiring appropriate and sensitive pastoral care. This course is based on a handbook written for the Department of the Navy by The Rev. Brian Hughes and The Rev. George Handzo, entitled Spiritual Care Handbook on PTSD/TBI: The Handbook on Best Practices for the Provision of Spiritual Care to Persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. This manual begins by describing the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The handbook goes on to outline a theory of recovery, to describe the general stance of the pastoral counselor, and to provide guidelines for sensitivity to differences in religion, culture, and gender.Referring to the empirical literature, specific pastoral interventions are described, including group work, meaning-making, spiritual care interventions, clinical use of prayer and healing rituals, confession work, percentage of guilt discussion, life review, scripture paralleling, reframing God assumptions, examining harmful spiritual attributions, encouraging connection with a spiritual community, mantra repetition, creative writing, sweat lodges, psychic judo, interpersonal therapy, and trauma incident reduction. Several other beneficial features include a description of seven stages of faith development and tips for self-care for the pastoral counselor.

 

Providers, and those who listen empathically to the trauma stories of others, are at risk for reactions known collectively as vicarious traumatization (VT). This course outlines some of the basic differences between primary traumatization, secondary traumatization, VT, and compassion fatigue; discusses many of the signs and symptoms of VT; provides questions for self-assessment of VT; and provides coping suggestions for providers who are involved in trauma work or those who may have VT reactions. This course offers providers and others who listen empathically to the trauma stories of others, a basic understanding of the possible effects of “caring for others” and discusses ways to monitor oneself and engage in positive self-care.

 

Part I of this course provides an overview of cognitive-behavioral interventions for PTSD. It describes some basic aspects of CBT, outlines cognitive-behavioral theories of PTSD, discusses key trauma-focused CBT interventions, and provides some tips for using CBT to encourage behavior change. Additional resources related to the topic are identified. Part II has two principal objectives. First it will review the psychobiology of the human response to stress in order to establish the pathophysiological rationale for utilizing different classes of medications as potential treatments for PTSD. Second it will review the current literature on evidence-based pharmacotherapy for PTSD. New medications currently being tested will also be discussed. The speakers’ original lectures included in this course are transcribed verbatim with minor editorial modifications.

 

Substance abuse problems are commonly experienced by those who have experienced trauma. This course discusses the complex relationship between trauma/PTSD and substance use disorders and provides a background for understanding comorbid PTSD and substance abuse. Topics covered include assessment, practice guidelines, common issues and their implications for treatment, and empirically-based treatment considerations in traumatized/PTSD individuals.

 

This course provides an overview of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It describes the diagnostic criteria, prevalence of PTSD in veteran and civilian samples, comorbid conditions, longitudinal course, and risk factors. Empirically validated treatment options are briefly discussed. The course is based on one of a series of activities from the Department of Veterans Affairs – National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD 101 curriculum. PTSD 101 is a web-based curriculum of diverse topics focusing on issues related to combat stress/PTSD. This course consists of the speaker’s original lecture and selected slides transcribed verbatim without editorial modifications.

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer online continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 

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