PTSD: Identical Twin Research Study

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“ARE YOU AN IDENTICAL TWIN?

If so, have you or your twin served in a war zone?

Lisa Shin, PhD and colleagues in the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) are conducting a study to examine brain activity in individuals with and without post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They seek participants who are identical twins in which one co-twin experienced combat and the other did not. You do not have to have PTSD to participate.

The study takes place in Boston. Travel expenses are covered by the study and participants are paid $500 for their time. Participation is completely voluntary and confidential.

For more information about this important research opportunity, please visit http://www.martinos.org/shinlab and/or call Lindsay Staples at 617-726-8120 or email TwinStudy@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu.

Editor’s Note:  The announcement above was posted on behalf of the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).  If you know of anyone with the characteristics described above who might be willing to participate in this study, please contact Lindsay Staples.

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PTSD update for Feb 2, 2013

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New material surfaces daily on the internet and in user discussion forums dealing with the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”). Regrettably, most of this advice is not supported by good clinical scientific studies or trustworthy explanation. The road to health and wellness is a long process and treatment procedures will be different based on the particular individual, the extent of the stress and his or her current social and financial circumstances.

SFTT or “Stand For The Troops” has put together an eminent circle of physicians, clinical psychologists and therapists to evaluate these promising treatments. While some of these emerging new techniques will appear on a regular basis on SFTT, visitors are firmly counseled to refer to their physician or primary care giver before altering treatment.

Found below are highlights of recurring themes as we mobilize forces to deal with the ravages of PTSD.

Cincinnati State, Cincinnati VA Medical Center to offer PTSD classes

Cincinnati State, in conjunction with the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, will offer two free classes this month on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The classes are geared toward the Emergency Medical Services community and other first responders.

See all stories on this topic »

PTSD taking a toll on returning veterans

He spoke last week, a day before attending Massachusetts funeral services for his friend, who had PTSD and served at Iraq’s Abu Graib prison during one of two deployments. “I don’t think he’d ever say, ‘Hey, I want to kill myself,’ but … certainly …

See all stories on this topic »

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Thanksgiving Update from Maj. Ben Richards

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Eilhys England, Chairperson of Stand For The Troops received the following Thanksgiving note from Maj. Ben Richards.

QUOTE

I would like to thank Stand for the Troops and the many individuals and organizations who have contributed to help my family and me. We have been truly fortunate. Last week I returned home to my family in Iowa after a two-month course of pro bono hyperbaric treatment arranged by SFTT and conducted by Dr. Paul Harch in New Orleans. The treatment has been very beneficial. I will share more details about the treatment in a future post.

Dr. Harch is uncomfortable being spotlighted for his work, but I would like to recommend him to you as a man of extraordinary character, compassion and patriotism. All of us in the military community should be grateful to know there are men and women like Dr. Harch who are dedicated to healing the wounds we have incurred in our service at great personal cost to themselves.  Dr. Harch has provided care to dozens of veterans like me who are suffering from the invisible injuries of war with great success and at his own expense. I would like to point out that Dr. Harch provides hyperbaric care for a number of other conditions at his clinic for less than a quarter of the cost of the same treatment at nearby hospitals. He has traded personal wealth to heal many who otherwise would not be able to afford healing care. It has been my privilege to get to know him.

Next week I will travel to Bethesda, Maryland, for two months of different type of treatment for TBI. The treatment is called Flexyx Neurotherapy. It uses small electrical pulses to improve brain activity. I will be undergoing treatment at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. The cost of treatment has been covered by a research grant. Travel and living expenses have been covered by generous donations.

I am more optimistic about my future than I have been in years and I am truly grateful for the blessings and support my family and I have received.

 

Thank you,

Ben

UNQUOTE

Editors Note:  We too are delighted at the tremendous progress shown by Maj. Ben Richards.  As chronicled in previous entries, the noticeable improvement after the hyperbaric treatment conducted by Dr. Paul Harch in New Orleans is little short of remarkable.  We are hopeful of seeing similar results with the Flexyx Neurotherapy in Maryland. A special word of thanks to all those who have made contributions to support Maj. Richards on his road to wellness.

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Brain Images May Reveal PTSD Risks and More

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According to studies quoted by Fox News, brain images may reveal Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”)risk before problems begin to materialize.  Previous studies have proven the brains of individuals with Post traumatic stress disorder vary from individuals with no condition. For example, certain brain areas are more compact in individuals with Post traumatic stress disorder, in comparison with individuals who experienced distressing occasions, but who didn’t develop unusual behavioral reactions.

Each day new guidance appears on the Internet and in forums dealing with the treatment of PTSD similar to the Fox News reports on Brain scans. Unfortunately, the majority of this help and advice is not supported by solid clinical scientific tests or highly regarded explanation. Though there are quite

Stand For The Troops has constructed a prestigious circle of physicians, clinical psychologists and therapists to examine these promising treatments. While some of these emerging new techniques will appear regularly on SFTT, readers are seriously counseled to see their physician or primary care giver before switching treatment.
See all tales about this subject »

Veterans administration Clinic seeks female veterans for brand new Post traumatic stress disorder study

Cortisol is called the “fight or flight” hormone. Studies have proven greater amounts of cortisol may really hurt the mind and become associated with Post traumatic stress disorder signs and symptoms. Through the years, scientists have analyzed Post traumatic stress disorder to try and comprehend the underlying brain processes.
See all tales about this subject »

Programs helps Veterans adapt to existence home

Doan not just provides extensive experience like a dog trainer, but is another adding author of the greatest Practices Paper on training Post traumatic stress disorder Service Dogs for help Worldwide. Last November., Doan stated she in the privilege to talk at Harvard …
See all tales about this subject »

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General Peter Chiarelli Speaks Out About PTSD

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To his credit, former Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli has always been at the forefront of focusing the public’s attention on the “unintended consequences of war” facing our brave men and women when they return home from repeated deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. His moving and pointed introduction to the 2010 report seeking to understand the increasing rates of suicides among military personnel demonstrates his resolve in supporting our men and women in uniform. The 350 page report entitled “Health Promotion Risk Reduction Suicide Prevention,” painted a rather disturbing picture of the terrible and ongoing “mental” costs faced by our military veterans and their families.  Sadly, two years later, the problems are compounding rather than diminishing.

General Chiarelli is currently CEO of One Mind For Research, a new-model non-profit dedicated to delivering accelerated new treatments and cures for all brain illness and injury within ten years time.

SFTT concurs with General Chiarelli grim assessment of the situation and has realigned its energies to focus on PTS (“Post Traumatic Stress”).  In fact, SFTT has formed a Medical Task Force to evaluate current and emerging treatment methodologies to provide long term treatment to veterans who suffer from this debilitating injury.

While General Chiarelli and others have raised public awareness of the ravages of these debilitating injuries, we have been lax as a society to accept the consequences of sending young men and women to war.   Make no mistake, PTS and TBI have terrifying social consequences that extend well beyond the individual who suffers these debilitating injuries.  Thanks to the generous support of   approach to dealing with trauma and many other concerned individuals, we are now beginning to mobilize the necessary resources to attack this problem head on.

SFTT welcomes General Chiarelli’s call to action to provide our military personnel with the best available treatment to help return them to wellness.

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Maj. Ben Richards Hyperbaric Treatment Update

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Yesterday evening, WWLTV.com in Louisiana carried a very moving “progress report” on

Maj. Richards’ tragic story was chronicled by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof who wrote an article in August entitled “War Wounds.”  For reasons that seem inexplicable to the average American, the Veterans Administration, the Defense Department and our government seemed to wash their hands of any responsibility of the injuries suffered by Maj. Richards.  Eilhys England, Chairperson of SFTT, immediately contacted Maj. Richards and put him in touch with Dr. Paul Harch (shown in the video below) who has been providing Ben with Harch Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments pro bono.

We are thrilled that Maj. Richards has made so much progress and SFTT is most grateful to those West Point classmates, friends and colleagues who have generously contributed to a fund to support his family while undergoing this treatment.

While we don’t leave our troops behind on the battlefield, why should their needs be neglected when they return home? If you feel strongly about supporting our brave heroes like Maj. Ben Richards, consider becoming a member of SFTT. Your generous contributions help our team find and evaluate promising treatment programs so our brave heroes can reclaim their lives.

For only $35 a year you can stand with us and Stand for the Troops


Choose your Membership and click the button «Become a Member»:

Become a Member

For those who wish to submit your membership contribution by check, please make the check payable to SFTT and send to the following address:

SFTT
PO Box 11179
Greenwich, CT 06831

Members can opt to receive flash updates, a Membership card and a vehicle decal.   Members who donate $100 or more can request a complimentary T-shirt.

PO Box 11179  ?  Greenwich CT 068321  ?   203-629-0288   ?  www.SFTT.org

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PTSD Research Highlights – November 3, 2012

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Note from SFTT:   Every single day new resources appears on the web and canada meds in discussion boards addressing the treatment of PTSD.  Regrettably, most of this advice is not backed by dependable clinical research or professional theory. Even though there are several methods to treat  the  symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the journey to health and happiness is lengthy and treatment plans will differ dependent on the individual, the degree of the injury and his or her existing social and financial condition.

USD psych professors aspire to help veterans with Post traumatic stress disorder study

A study project targeted at better comprehending the results of distressing force on war veterans will commence in Siouxland within the coming several weeks. College of South Dakota psychology professors Jeffrey Simons and Raluca Gaher lately received a $1.7 …
See all tales about this subject »

TBI and Post traumatic stress disorder Get $100 Million in Research Money

That common goal comes in a cost of $100 million…just within the research to enhance the concern. Based on Defense News, “more than 15 % and services information people and veterans suffer impaired functioning consequently of Post traumatic stress disorder.” Exactly what does that actually work to …
See all tales about this subject »

 

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SFTT Medical Task Force to Focus on PTSD

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Dr. Henry Grayson, Ph.D., Co-Chair of SFTT’s Medical Task Force – Is a  psychologist practicing in New York City and Connecticut. He has a PhD from Boston University, as well as a postdoctoral certificate in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy from Postgraduate Center for Mental Health and a Theology degree from Emory University. He is the author or three books, founded both the National Institute for Psychotherapies and the Institute for Spirituality, Science and Psychotherapy, and the Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy.

Dr. Frank M. Ochberg, M.D., Co-Chair of SFTT’s Medical Task ForceA Psychiatry professor at Michigan StateUniversity with degrees from Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University and the University of London. Formerly an associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health, more recently he has been involved with numerous organizations dealing with PTSD including founding Gift From Within, a non-profit PTSD foundation, and consulting at Columbine High School in Colorado. In 2003 he received a lifetime achievement award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Dr. Grant Brenner, M.D A graduate of the New Jersey Medical School and as assistant clinical professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Beth Israel Medical Center. He is a member of Physicians for Human Rights and the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. Dr. Brenner is the director of trauma services at the William Alanson White Institute, a board member at the Disaster Psychiatry Outreach, and the author of Creating Spiritual and Psychological Resilience-Integrating Care in Disaster Relief Work.

Dr. Eric D. Caine, M.D. – A Psychiatry professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Medical School, and a chair of the department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center School of Medicine and Dentistry. In 2001 he received the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry’s Leadership in Training Award for Chair of the Year.

Dr. Robert Cancro, M.D A professor and chairman of psychiatry at the New York University Medical Center. He is a graduate of SUNY Downstate Medical Center, has served as the director or the Nathan Kline Research Institute, a long time consultant of the U.S. Secret Service, and the recipient of numerous awards in the field of mental health including the New York State Office of Mental Health Award and the Irving Blumberg Human Rights Award.

Lorraine Cancro, MSW – A psychotherapist with a Masters from the New York University Silver School of Social Work. She is the executive director of the Global Stress Initiative, a senior consultant at The Barn Yard Group, and formerly the director of business development and military health editor at EP Magazine.

Jaine L. Darwin, Psy.D., ABPP A graduate of Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology is a psychologist-psychoanalyst specializing in trauma and PTSD, relationship issues and depression. Dr. Darwin has run a volunteer organization SOFAR that provided services to family members of military service members and veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kathalynn Davis, MSW – A psychotherapist with Masters from Columbia University, a certified Sedona Method Coach, Life Coach certified at New York University and Practitioner for International Institute for Spiritual Living.

Dr. Stephen V. Eliot, Ph.D.,  A Psychoanalyst with private practice in Westport CT.

Dr. Mark Erlich, M.D. – is a graduate of the of Profiles & Contours, a clinical assistant professor at New York Medical College and Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine, and a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is also the president of the New York Facial Plastic Surgery Society.

Dr. Mitchell Flaum, Ph. D. – A clinical Psychologist with private practice in New York City.

Dr. Joseph Ganz, Ph.D.,  –  A psychotherapist and a graduate of the Stress Reduction Program from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  He is also trained in couples and family psychotherapy and is the co-founder, co-director and faculty member of The Metropolitan Center for Object Relations-New Jersey.

Dr. Stephen Gullo, Ph.D.,  –  received his doctorate in psychology from Columbia University, and for more than a decade, he was a professor and researcher at Columbia University Medical Center. He is the former chair of the National Obesity and Weight Control Education Program of the American Institute for Life Threatening Illness at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. His first book, Thin Tastes Better, was a national best seller as was his second book, The Thin Commandments.  He has been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, and Barbara Walters and has also made numerous appearances on Today, Good Morning America, and Hard Copy. Dr. Gullo is currently president of the Center for Health and Weight Sciences’ Center for Healthful Living in New York City.

Joan S. Kuehl, L.C.S.W. –  Is a social worker with private practice in New York City.

Dr. Judy Kuriansky, Ph.D., –  A graduate of New York University, an adjunct faculty member at the Teacher’s College Columbia University and at Columbia Medical School. She has
provided “psychological first aid” after bombings in Israel, SARS in China, the tsunami in Asia, and after 9/11 in the US. She is a representative to the United Nations for the International Association of Applied Psychology and the International Council of Psychologists.

Dr. Robert Rawdin, D.D.S. –  A graduate of the Northwestern University School of Dentistry and New York University. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Prosthodontics and currently serves as president-elect and program chair of the Northeastern Gnathological Society. He is also a clinical assistant professor at the New York University College of Dentistry.

Dr. Stephen Ross, M.D.  A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the director of the division of alcoholism and drug abuse at Bellevue Hospital, director of the NYU Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship, and director of the Bellevue Opioid Overdose Prevention Program.

Dr. John Setaro, M.D. – A graduate of Boston University, and a resident and fellow at Yale-New Haven Hospital, as well as an associate professor of medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine.

Editor’s Note: While these notable physician give freely of their time, there still remains the task of supporting our troops with “more than lip service.” The needs of our brave warriors are great and SFTT looks to your contributions to help support our Investigative, Information and Intervention campaigns. As a 501(c)(3) educational foundation, we rely on the contributions of concerned Americans to help get the proper treatment to those who need it most. Contribute what you can.

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Support Major Ben Richards

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Major Ben Richards Fund

Major Ben RichardsAs many SFTT readers are aware, Major Ben Richards suffered debilitating injuries while serving in Iraq.  His poignant story was featured in a lengthy column in the New York Times by Nicholas Kristof in August.  Prompted by that story and the lack of support he has received from the VA, SFTT put Major Ben Richards in touch in Dr. Paul Harch who accepted Major Richards into the Harch Hyperbarics program, a cutting-edge alternative to deal with traumatic brain injuries and brain disorders.

As reported earlier by SFTT news release Major Ben Richards Is Not Forgotten, our “You Are Not Alone” campaign needs your support to help Major Richards and his family to recover from this serious injury.  Please contribute what you can.  Warriors like Ben Richards deserve our support and that of a thankful nation.



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Major Ben Richards is Not Alone

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Mr. Kristof details the sad – but all too-often heard tale – of the debilitating problems of headaches, fatigue, insomnia and fainting spells that threatened to destroy his life and that of his family caused by repeated concussions while serving in Iraq.   Unfortunately, Major Richards can’t get adequate treatment to deal with the injuries he has received serving our country. More disturbing is the fact that this growing problem is rarely addressed by either candidate running for President.   As Mr. Kristof writes  “Mental health still isn’t the priority it should be. Just about every soldier or veteran I’ve talked to finds that in practice the mental health system is clogged with demands, and soldiers and veterans are falling through the cracks. Returning soldiers aren’t adequately screened, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury are still haphazard, and there hasn’t been nearly enough effort to change the warrior culture so that getting help is smart rather than sissy.”

SFTT ‘You Are Not Alone’ Intervention for Major Ben Richards

“SFTT  is responsible for linking Major Ben Richards with Dr. Paul Harch of Harch Hyperbarics in Marrero, LA.  It all started on 10 August 2012 with the NYT article by Nicholas Kristof.  When we read that Ben had been told there was no treatment for his condition, we quickly reached out to both Ben and Dr. Paul Harch, based on our  knowledge of  Dr. Harch’s success treating Vets – and Ben entered Dr. Harch’s treatment program on 23 September 2012.  Dr. Paul Harch is providing the treatment pro-bono–he is a great American.

“SFTT’s ‘You Are Not Alone’ campaign is all about finding and resourcing alternative and more effective treatment programs for post traumatic stress and TBI.  This is an effort to collaborate with the VA, community-based programs, and alternative treatment programs like Harch Hyperbarics.

“While Ben is undergoing the two month treatment in Louisiana, his wife and four children remain in Iowa.  Ben was medically retired, so resources are tight for living expenses, rent, utilities, and airfare to bring the family back together for Thanksgiving.  The goal is to get Ben back on his feet with the hyperbaric treatment so that he can regain his life’s momentum.”

Major General John Batiste, US Army (Retired)

Editor’s Note:  More to follow from SFTT with donation protocols to support Major Ben Richards.  For those who want to help now, consider making a donation to  Stand for the Troops, a 501(c)(3) organization to support our troops.

Excerpts from Nicholas Kristof’s “War Wounds”

Found below are extended excerpts from Mr. Kristof’s article, War Wounds, and all are encouraged to read the entire article to get the full impact of how little we seem to care for our brave heroes who have served our country so valiantly and now need our help:

“While the challenges are acute for those on active duty, they often become even greater when troops take off their uniforms and become veterans seeking services from the hugely overburdened Veterans Affairs Department. Ben and Farrah have found it immensely difficult to get reliable information from the V.A. about what benefits they can count on. Richards says that in 11 phone calls, he has heard different stories every time.

“’The V.A. is an abomination,’ he said. ‘You see that hole in the wall?’ He pointed at what looked like a rat hole. ‘That’s when I threw the phone after someone at V.A. hung up on me.’

“None of this is a surprise. The V.A. says that veterans wait an average of eight months to get an initial decision on the claims they file. When service members seek to retire for medical reasons, the process takes an average of 396 days. Eric Shinseki, the secretary of veterans affairs, notes that the V.A. processes more claims each year than it did before, but that the number of new claims surges by an even greater amount. The upshot is that the V.A. steps up its game but still gets further behind.

“Shinseki notes some areas of progress — the number of homeless veterans seems to have fallen significantly — and he points to new systems and hiring intended to make the system function better. The number of V.A. mental health staff members has risen from 13,000 in 2005 to more than 20,000 today, he said.

“At a time when nearly half of veterans returning from battle file disability claims, it’s fair to wonder whether word hasn’t spread that service members can claim some vague mental health ailment, like post-traumatic stress disorder, and get a paycheck from the government. The V.A. approves roughly half of claims, but the difficulty of diagnosis of mental health ailments means that they may not always be the legitimate ones. We may be getting the worst of all worlds: fraudulent claims approved, while legitimate ones are unrecognized or unconscionably delayed.

“’The V.A. certainly doesn’t care,’ says Jim Strickland, who runs the V.A. Watchdog Web site. ‘The very institution that should be at the forefront of caring for vets is dead last.’ The Web site declares: ‘This country is capable of drafting you, putting you in boot camp, teaching you to kill someone, and then putting you in a war zone within six months. So why can’t they process a claim that fast?’

Editors Note:  Mr. Kristof’s article is a cry for help as countless brave veterans seek treatment for the “invisible” but no less destructive wounds of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  SFTT has assembled a distinguished panel of physicians to help evaluate alternative treatment modalities.  Your generous contributions help support SFTT’s investigative research and provide the funds to support brave heroes like Major Ben Richards.

 

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