(FeaturedNews.com) – Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) impacts many people. It’s not just an issue that harms the person who has it. Their friends and family also suffer. Current treatments can’t provide complete relief, but a new study out of Israel offers hope of a possible cure.
The Study Findings
A study from Tel Aviv University in Israel showed oxygen therapy might cure post-traumatic stress disorder or drastically reduce symptoms. Researchers chose a group of 35 Israel Defense Force veterans who had stopped responding to traditional treatments and psychotherapy. Half of the group received treatment in hyperbaric oxygen chambers. The other half maintained their current course of medication and therapy. The test group showed an amazing response compared to the control group.
PTSD affects people who have gone through mentally traumatizing events. It can strike almost anyone, including children. The disorder is common among combat veterans, abuse victims, accident victims, and people who’ve witnessed traumatic events.
The condition causes the brain to trigger the flight or fight response to minor stimuli, but triggers can also happen randomly without stimuli. PTSD is often a long-term illness and can interfere with daily life because it leaves the brain in a situation where it is hyperaware and active in parts.
The Difference in the Study
Treatment for PTSD usually involves drugs to change the brain’s function, along with psychotherapy. In the Israeli study, the researchers took a different approach. Instead of treating the problem psychologically, they sought a biological solution. They looked at it as a brain wound, not a mental disorder.
This approach led them to look for a treatment to physically change the brain and not just chemically alter it. The use of the hyperbaric oxygen chamber healed the damaged brain tissue. It restored the proper functioning of damaged areas by generating new blood vessels and reactivating stem cells.
Participants used the hyperbaric oxygen chamber five days a week for a total of 60 sessions. The results were physical changes in the brain and reductions in symptoms. With half of the participants ending the study no longer showing any signs of having PTSD, researchers feel the results show promise as a new standard treatment option.
The Israeli researchers said they would also use their findings to develop diagnostic tools. In addition, they continue to work toward discovering PTSD’s biological fingerprint, which could lead to further good news in this field.
Experts caution that this was a small study and only a preliminary look into alternative PTSD treatment options. Additional research and work must go into this area of study to develop an acceptable treatment across the board. But there’s hope!
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