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Electric Patch Shows Promising Results for Treating PTSD

03 Feb

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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