AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 3, 2018

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Short-Course Treatment for Combat-Related PTSD Offers Expedited Path to Recovery

First-ever randomized clinical trial of two-week Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy in active-duty military personnel treats chronic and incapacitating symptoms as effectively as eight-week treatment

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be debilitating and standard treatment can take months, often leaving those affected unable to work or care for their families. But, a new study demonstrated that many PTSD sufferers can benefit from an expedited course of treatment.  In the first study of its kind, Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy was found to be as effective when administered over two weeks as when it is provided over eight weeks for treating PTSD in active-duty military personnel. The study was conducted by researchers from Penn Medicine, under the leadership of Edna B. Foa, PhD, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) and the STRONG STAR Consortium. 

The research team notes that the results obtained in active military personnel also offer possible new treatment options for veterans and civilians. As much as 10 to 20 percent of military members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan following the September 11th attacks suffer from PTSD, a condition that is often chronic and incapacitating. A constant increase in the number of individuals suffering from PTSD as a result of massive natural disasters, terror attacks, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has prompted an urgent need for effective and efficient evidence-based treatments for PTSD.

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2019 Mayo Clinic Advancements in Surgical & Medical Management of the Spine
Jan. 13-17, 2019; Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii

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