Health & Safety

July 9, 2012

Neurotrauma, Psychological Health office partners with VA to study PTSD treatments

by Carey Phillips
Fort Detrick, Md.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common anxiety disorder that can stem from any traumatic event experienced by an individual.

While there are medications currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat it, they are not sufficiently effective in treating combat-related post-traumatic stress commonly seen in service members and veterans.

The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity’s Neurotrauma and Psychological Health Project Management Office signed an interagency agreement with the Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program, or VACSP, to jointly conduct and support clinical studies of pharmacotherapeutics for the treatment of combat-related Post-traumatic stress disorder, knowns as PTSD, in service members and veterans.

“The interagency agreement between USAMMDA and VACSP structures how the agencies will collaborate,” said Maj. Gary Wynn, research psychiatrist with the Neurotrauma and Psychological Health Project Management Office. “While the DOD may be funding the research effort, the VA is an equal partner in the project.”

“The VA is the primary location for Veterans to receive care so we need to be looking at their populations as well as those still on active duty,” he explained.

USAMMDA and VACSP will be working together to identify and develop alternate indications for existing FDA-approved drugs used to treat other disorders.

“While these drugs are FDA-approved, they are not approved for the treatment of PTSD,” said Wynn. “In fact, many of the drugs currently being used have little, or no research supporting their off-label use in treating PTSD.”

Currently, there are two drugs that are FDA-approved for treating PTSD. However, studies have shown that these drugs are less than 50 percent effective when it comes to treating combat-related PTSD. Additionally, the side effects from these drugs can be harmful to service members and veterans.

Although these drugs have helped victims of PTSD, worldwide they have shown limited benefit for service members and veterans struggling with the aftermath of combat.

“These studies are vital to understand if and how [the drugs in the collaborative USAMMDA and VACSP study] should be used in service members and veterans,” said Wynn.

According to Wynn, the collaboration between USAMMDA and the VA will ensure the highest quality of research.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Bill would expand fertility coverage for veterans

The roadside bomb that exploded outside Andrew Robinson’s Humvee in Iraq six years ago broke the Marine staff sergeant’s neck and left him with collapsed lungs – and without use of his legs. It also cast doubt on his ability to father a child, a gnawing emotional wound for a then-23-year-old who envisioned starting a...
 
 

U.S. starts landmark Agent Orange cleanup in Vietnam

DANANG, Vietnam – Vo Duoc fights back tears while sharing the news that broke his heart: A few days ago he received test results confirming he and 11 family members have elevated levels of dioxin lingering in their blood. The family lives in a two-story house near a former U.S. military base in Danang where...
 
 
Army image by Dr. E. Mark Haacke, Tilak Gattu, Dr. A. Cacace, and Dr. F. Akin

New imaging technique detects changes in veins that may better illuminate brain injury

Army image by Dr. E. Mark Haacke, Tilak Gattu, Dr. A. Cacace, and Dr. F. Akin A new dimension in imaging technology detects minute levels of vascular damage in the form of bleeding, clots and reduced levels of oxygenation that ...
 

 
Courtesy photograph

DOD, VA release mobile app targeting post-traumatic stress

Courtesy photograph The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments have released a free Apple and Android smartphone mobile application for use with post-traumatic stress disorder treatment. The app is called PE Coach; PE stands ...
 
 

TRICARE Prime enrollment fees increase Oct. 1

New TRICARE Prime enrollment fees for uniformed service retirees and their families will begin Oct. 1. Retirees who were enrolled before Oct. 1, 2011 will see a more significant increase since their enrollment fee remained at the 2011 levels of $230 and $460 per year when the fees increased last year. The National Defense Authorization...
 
 

Panel calls for annual PTSD screening

The Institute of Medicine recommended July 13 that soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan be screened for post-traumatic stress disorder at least once a year and that federal agencies conduct more research to determine how well the various treatments for PTSD are working. Of the 2.6 million service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>