Monday, September 24, 2012

Cure of PTSD? Injection in neck nerves


 
Fox News  A federally-approved injection is offering new hope to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  The injection, which takes approximately 15 minutes to administer, has led to dramatic improvements in some veterans who suffer from the disorder.
 
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that typically follows exposure to a traumatic event such as combat, disaster or assault.  Symptoms include nightmares, jumpiness, paranoia, irritability and aggressiveness.  It is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse or other anxiety disorders.

To address the soldiers who aren’t finding relief from standard therapies, Dr. Eugene Lipov,  medical director of Advanced Pain Centers in Chicago, director of pain research at Northwest Community Hospital and medical director of Chicago Medical Innovations, is championing a little-known treatment called Stellate ganglion block (SGB). 

According to Lipov, PTSD sufferers who have been administered the block have reported relief from symptoms in as little as 30 minutes.  
 
Lipov has received a waiver from the FDA to perform SGB and is currently recruiting participants for a clinical trial.  SGB, which has also been used in the past to treat depression, schizophrenia, psychosis, and other mental health disorders, is not backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for treating PTSD in soldiers.

For the treatment, local anesthetic – commonly used in epidurals during labor – is injected into a collection of nerves in the neck known as the stellate ganglion.  These nerves are connected to various parts of the brain, including the amygdala, which are thought to be associated with PTSD. 

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