Cincinnati VA’s focus on evidence-based treatments and cutting-edge research has made it a leader in treating veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. One of the world’s largest current studies of biological differences in people with PTSD has the potential to streamline diagnosis and treatment.
Kate Chard, director of the PTSD program at Cincinnati VA, said, “Whether it’s a cancer diagnosis or a PTSD diagnosis, people want to go through a lengthy evaluation to see if they have anything. “So one of the things we are looking at right now is looking at blood and saliva and even EEG EEG data to try to find biological differences. I know it makes a difference, and I also know that treatment can change, and I will bring it back.”
In addition to biological differences, Chard believes there are multiple types of PTSD that research may uncover, each of which may respond differently to treatment.
Launched in 2019, the survey involves more than 400 veterans nationwide. COVID has slowed the pace, but we plan to finish in December.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition caused by trauma. It influences the amygdala, which controls fight, flight, and freeze responses, and the prefrontal cortex, which controls behavior and decision making.
About 6% of the US population suffers from PTSD. That number is about twice that of veterans, according to the report. US Department of Veterans Affairs. Those who participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom may have a PTSD diagnosis rate of up to 20%.
“The difference in the military is that there are people in the military who have the same childhood traumas that we do. Maybe car accidents, natural disasters, etc. But they can also have battle-related trauma. It provides a space where veterans can receive treatment without judging what they may have experienced in combat.
Chard says diagnosis is the first step to improvement.
Cincinnati VA offers state-of-the-art options for inpatient or outpatient care. The program focuses on evidence-based practice, not just traditional talk therapy and medication.
“Veterans of all kinds tell us that this is their last destination, that they’ve tried everything, that if this doesn’t work, they’re ready to end it all.” I’m leaving the program that I did,” she said.
“We won’t stop”
The three evidence-based treatments that the Cincinnati VA focuses on are cognitive processing therapy, long-term exposure, and EMDR.
Cognitive processing therapy helps you deal with your experiences without reliving them in a detailed way. Long-term exposure therapy takes the opposite approach, and people talk about their trauma over and over again. The third treatment, eye movement desensitization and retreatment, combined her first two.
“I think what really sets Cincinnati apart is never quitting. If one treatment doesn’t work, try another,” says Chard. We are always there to help you deal with
The future of PTSD diagnosis and treatment is constantly changing. This could include the streamlined diagnosis her research addresses. Or it may contain a yet-to-be-discovered drug that treats the cause of PTSD rather than its symptoms.
“Beauty is the limit,” says Chard. “If the goal we put at the top of the page is to improve as many people as possible as quickly as possible, that goal will always be to improve treatment.”
Chard’s work at Cincinnati VA was recently here. teeth. Better. It follows the story of Cincinnati veterans and gives a raw account of what they go through in their day-to-day and during treatment.
For more information about PTSD in Cincinnati VA, visit the VA Cincinnati Healthcare System website.