A New Way of Conquering PTSD?: US Army Research on Anesthetic Injection

By: Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT

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Pixabay[Patch by ulleo, May 18, 2017, CCO]
While we all experience some level of stress after a traumatic event, what distinguishes PTSD  is long-lasting symptoms that don’t subside, may get worse over time, and interfere with daily living. For years, the two main treatments for PTSD have been psychotherapy and medication; with some people choosing to use one or the other and some using a combination of both. However, the US Army is researching a new type of treatment; one that involves a single injection to the neck.

The Washington Times published an article this week on the study of Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) which involves injecting an anesthetic into a bundle of nerves that sits near the base of the neck. According to the Military Times, this treatment technique is showing promising results “relieving symptoms in 70 percent of combat veterans who received it once or more”. This therapy “quelled symptoms of PTSD, such as sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression… according to the report published in October”.

To see how this SGB treatment works, see the video below from the Wall Street Journal:

As mentioned in the Washington Times, “Psychologist Ron Hoover, who oversees the study, told the Journal that military officials must take a conservative position when it comes to such treatment… [The Army doesn’t] want to risk service member’s lives or experiment on them”.  It will be interesting to see how this study evolves and what results are discovered. 

This post was written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT, the Social Media and Programming Coordination Specialist for the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development concentration area on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.

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