How Does Sgb For Ptsd Work
We cannot conclusively prove the exact mechanism that explains the positive effects of stellate ganglion block for PTSD. However, we certainly have some understanding of it. It is suspected that the activity of the sympathetic nervous system is slowed by the effects of the injection.
The sympathetic nervous system is what helps us respond to a threat. It helps elevate our heart rate and the pace of our breathing, and it helps us respond to threatening situations. It is responsible for what is known as the fight-or-flight response. In many people with PTSD, the sympathetic nervous system is overactive. This likely contributes to some PTSD sufferers feeling constantly on guard and prone to exaggerated responses. Such responses can be triggered by loud noises or other situations that may potentially turn dangerous like being in a crowd or somewhere reminiscent of the original traumatic event.
Study Finds Potential New Treatment For Preventing Ptsd
Research led by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation points to a groundbreaking discovery about a new potential treatment and prevention for post-traumatic stress disorder .
The research team, led by Dr. Fang Liu, Senior Scientist and Head of Molecular Neuroscience in CAMH’s Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, and Professor and Co-director of Division of Neuroscience and Clinical Translation, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, recently identified a protein complex that is elevated in PTSD patients. The researchers also developed a peptide to target and disrupt the protein complex. They found that the peptide prevented recall or encoding of fear memories in early tests. This suggests that the peptide could treat PTSD symptoms or prevent them entirely.
PTSD occurs in some people after experiencing or witnessing traumatic events, such as sexual assault or military combat. Patients can suffer from debilitating flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety which can severely impact quality of life. There are currently no laboratory diagnostic tests for PTSD, and existing treatments have limited efficacy. According to a recent study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, Canada has the highest prevalence of PTSD among 24 examined countries, and 9.2 per cent of Canadians will develop PTSD in their lifetimes.
Children And Young People
Trauma-focused CBT is usually recommended for children and young people with PTSD.
This normally involves a course of 6 to 12 sessions that have been adapted to suit the child’s age, circumstances and level of development.
Where appropriate, treatment includes consulting with and involving the child’s family.
Children who do not respond to trauma-focused CBT may be offered EMDR.
Read Also: How To Help Husband With Depression
Long Waiting Lists For Help
It is estimated about 4% of adults in the UK have PTSD, a common condition that can develop after experiencing traumatic events. Symptoms include re-experiencing the trauma, avoiding reminders and being very on edge, with distress and an impact on daily life which can last many years.
Psychological therapy with a focus on the traumatic event is the treatment of choice but waiting lists can be more than a year and there are a limited number of trained therapists to deliver treatment.
The research team held a large randomised controlled trial of internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy involving 196 adults from across the UK with a diagnosis of mild to moderate PTSD. Half were given a Cardiff University-devised guided web and app-based therapy called Spring, involving an eight-step programme with guidance and support from a therapist, while the other half had 12 face-to-face therapy sessions.
Their progress was measured at 16 and 52 weeks, including by severity of symptoms of their PTSD and depression and anxiety, use of alcohol and impact on how they were functioning in daily life. Nineteen participants and 10 therapists were also interviewed in depth about their experiences of the new treatment, as part of the evaluation.
The trial found that more than 80% of people in both groups who were interviewed at 16 weeks no longer had PTSD.
The results should provide more treatment options for people with PTSD and improve their care.
Evoke Wellness Ma And Ptsd Recovery Options
At Evoke Wellness MA, we specialize in the effective and comprehensive treatment of dual diagnosis disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder. If you or someone close to you has been simultaneously struggling with addiction and unresolved trauma, seeking the professional help of a dual diagnosis treatment center is all but essential. If one condition is left untreated, the likelihood of maintaining recovery from the other condition is lessened significantly. As a result, we have developed an accessible and effective treatment program for men and women of all ages.
Read Also: Can Anxiety Cause Slurred Speech
Most Effective Ptsd Treatment Plans
Therapy is an effective method of treating PTSD. A licensed psychotherapist or trauma social worker will be able to provide you with therapy-based support for your PTSD treatment. In therapy, you will:
There are two main types of PTSD therapy treatment options, namely, psychotherapy and neurological therapy. Under each treatment type, there are various therapy techniques therapists use to treat PTSD.
Class Discussion: Weighing Approval Of A New Miracle Drug
Teachers should read the following two paragraphs aloud before splitting the classroom into two groups:
A new pill has been made that helps people lose five pounds every time they take it. The weight loss community is going crazy about this new miracle drugbegging for the FDA to finally approve it so that people can lose weight instantly and feel more confident.
But there are drawbackstaking the drug increases the risk of many diseases, including heart disease. The drug also makes you age faster. Lastly, the drug takes away all appetite, so much so that it is difficult for a person taking the drug to get their daily nutrients from food.
Split the classroom into two groups. Half the class will act as lawyers arguing for the drugs approval, and the other half will serve as the FDA listening and responding with concerns. Whose arguments will be stronger?
This brief was written by Bella Ratner as part of the 2017 Summer Internship Program at NYU Langones Division of Medical Ethics.
What Type Of Treatment Is This
SSRIs and SNRIs are types of antidepressant medication. Medications have 2 names: a brand name and a generic name . There are 4 SSRIs/SNRIs that are recommended for PTSD:
There are other types of antidepressant medications, but these four medications listed above are the ones that are most effective for PTSD.
SSRI/SNRI: How do meds help?
Providers give an overview on why medications are used to treat PTSD.
Its Not Likely To Be A Magic Cure
Take note of the numbers described above. The patients who received SGB treatment saw significant improvement 34%. This is a welcome improvement for those patients. However, 34% is not 100% or even 50%. Results can vary from one person to another, as they do with any treatment some patients do see a very significant improvement in their symptoms, but many do not. SGB is not likely to revolutionize the treatment of PTSD.
Also Check: How To Soothe Panic Attacks And Severe Anxiety
Combining Clinical Data With Patient
Our study was the first multi-site randomized controlled trial of SGB for treatment of PTSD. The trial determined that the SGB procedure decreases the severity of PTSD symptoms. Our researchers are still evaluating whether it affects other conditions such as anxiety, suicidal thoughts, pain, and alcohol use.
RTI coordinated all aspects of the study at three U.S. military facilities:
- Womack Army Medical Center in North Carolina
- Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii
- Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
This included developing the study protocol and monitoring its execution to measure patient health outcomes for 8 weeks after injections.
Study participants received either the SGB injection or whats referred to as a sham procedure , during which the patient received an injection of saline near the stellate ganglion instead of the SGB medication.
We also conducted focus groups and interviews with service members, spouses, and healthcare providers to explore how SGB is perceived in comparison to other treatments for PTSD, which should predict whether SGB could be widely accepted as an option for the many service members, veterans, and civilians who suffer from PTSD.
New Hope For Ptsd Treatment
The latest trial results for MDMA-assisted therapy are inand they are eye-catching.
Existing treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder are few in number and, too often, ineffective. Although still classified as a Schedule I drug, methylenedioxymethamphetamine has improved symptoms PTSD in clinical trials.
In this Mental Health Minute, Tiago Reis Marques, MD, PhD, shares the results of a new phase 3 trial, in which the MDMA-assisted arm of the study outperformed the placebo by 35%. He revisits the history of MDMA and looks to the future, when this Schedule I drug may be approved as a legal treatment.
Dr Marques is a senior clinical fellow on the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London, an instructor at the Institute of Psychiatry in Kings College, and the CEO of Pasithea Therapeutics.
Would you prescribe a psychedelic like MDMA? Share comments with your colleagues by emailing . Comments may be shared online pending review and editing for style.
You May Like: How Does One Get Schizophrenia
Australian Ptsd Research Creates New World
A partnership between DVA, the Department of Defence and Phoenix Australia has led to world-first research and implementation of an innovative new treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder . This treatment is now available for all Open Arms Veterans & Families Counselling Service clients with PTSD.
The Rapid Exposure Supporting Trauma Recovery Trial investigated a new method of delivering PTSD treatment through an intensive form of exposure therapy delivered within a two-week period.
The results show this new method of treatment to be as effective as standard treatment while potentially offering additional lifestyle benefits.
Open Arms National Manager Grant Pegg said this is a very exciting development in the treatment of PTSD.
Standard prolonged exposure therapy, usually delivered over 10 to 12 weeks, systematically and safely assists the person with PTSD address their memories of the events that underlie their condition, he said. However, it can be difficult for veterans to commit to treatment over a three-month period, especially when transitioning from the military.
The RESTORE Trial found the new intensive two-week method is equally effective in treating PTSD, but participants are nearly four times less likely to drop out of therapy compared with those who receive the regular treatment.
Its important for us to be able to offer flexible and effective therapy options that suit individual veteran needs, Dr Pegg said.
The Wounded Heroes Film
In fact, thats what got actor and producer Michael Gier interested in post-traumatic stress. He was doing research for a fictional film about two veterans with PTSD, when he met Carl, a veteran medic. I was shocked when he told me that he was on 16 different prescription drugs, down from 18, Gier told me. And whats worse, he said they didnt really help, that they were just a band-aid. I knew there had to be better options and that set me on a three-year journey across the country to find alternative treatments that would make a significant difference in the lives of people battling PTS.
This led Gier to make Wounded Heroes, which comes out on all the major streaming services in March. My goal in producing this film was to save lives. The 20+ per day suicide rate among our Veterans is ridiculous, and that doesnt even take into account the high suicide rate among our police officers, fire fighters, doctors, nurses, and other first responders, said Gier. In the film, Gier shares stories of veterans who have made remarkable recoveries from post-traumatic stress through options like equine therapy, stellate ganglion block, and new trauma psychotherapies.
Don’t Miss: How To Distract Yourself During A Panic Attack
The Invasive Symptoms Of Ptsd Can Affect Combat Veterans And Civilians Alike Early Intervention Is Critical For Managing The Condition
- Psychedelic Drugs: As studies continue to point to the therapeutic value of substances like MDMA, veterans are becoming unlikely advocates for their decriminalization.
- Healing Power: Despite weight lifting being associated with violent bursts of brawn, many people find pumping iron to be a valuable tool in addressing PTSD.
- Ripple Effect: Caring for someone with PTSD can be a taxing experience. A writer describes how her relationship changed when her partner developed the condition.
Its not the drug its the therapy enhanced by the drug, said Rick Doblin, senior author of the study and director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a nonprofit research group that sponsored and financed the clinical trials.
For this process to work, a person must be primed to engage with their trauma. Participants first undertook preparatory sessions with two trained therapists. Then in three sessions of eight-hours each, spaced a month apart, they received either an inactive placebo or MDMA. Neither the participants nor the therapists knew which. While most participants correctly guessed whether they received a placebo or MDMA, this did not undermine the studys results or its methodology, which was agreed to in advance by the F.D.A.
But after participating in the trial, he no longer has nightmares. Literally, Im a different person, he said.
This allowed me to accept myself and recognize who I am, he said.
References And Further Reading
Carroll A. Can psychedelics be therapy? Allow research to find out. The New York Times. July 17, 2017.
Hudenko W. The relationship between PTSD and suicide. PTSD: National Center for PTSD. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. March 28, 2017.
Ross S Schmidt BL. Rapid and sustained symptom reduction following psilocybin treatment for anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized controlled trial. J Psychopharmacol. 2016. DOI .
Sessa B. Turn on and tune in to evidence-based psychedelic research. Lancet Psychiatry. 2015. DOI.
Tupper KW Johnson MW. Psychedelic medicine: A re-emerging therapeutic paradigm. CMAJ. 2015. DOI .
Read Also: Can You Get Schizophrenia From Drugs
What Is Stellate Ganglion Block For Ptsd
Several effective treatment options exist for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder . A medical treatment called stellate ganglion block is one of the newest options. SGB is an injection administered by a doctor or other healthcare professional into the neck. It works by affecting the nerves near the voicebox.
The injection is guided by feedback from ultrasound or x-ray imaging, giving the healthcare provider real-time feedback on precisely how to position the needle. This procedure has been administered for decades it is not new. Whats new is its use for PTSD.
Historically, doctors have used this treatment to help patients suffering from pain syndromes and other neurological disorders. In recent years, researchers and clinicians have discovered that the procedure is also effective at reducing PTSD symptoms.
A well-done research study published in 2020 compared the effects of SGB treatment with a placebo treatment. This study was important because it was the first multi-site randomized trial of SGB treatment for PTSD. It showed that although the placebo group saw an improvement of 15%, the group receiving SGB improved by 34% over the eight weeks following the start of SGB treatment. The authors of the study conclude that SGB is a promising part of PTSD treatment. If youre looking for help with PTSD, there are two important lessons you can take from this study.
What To Look For In A Ptsd And Addiction Treatment Program
If you are looking for a treatment program that offers treatment options for PTSD and addiction, we recommend keeping an eye out for several important factors. First of all, look for a treatment center that offers:
- Individualized treatment options that focus on your unique, personal needs and clinical requirements.
- A staff composed of a team of licensed and highly experienced professionals both therapeutic professionals with personal backgrounds in trauma and medical professionals.
- At least 30 days of inpatient treatment. In most cases, people with dual diagnosis disorders require at least 90 days of intensive inpatient treatment. The duration of your personal treatment program will depend heavily on what is best for you. There are a
- A range of luxury accommodations, ranging from private or semi-private bedrooms to daily meals prepared by a professionally trained chef.
The things you should look for in a PTSD treatment program also depend on several personal factors, including:
- Whether or not you have sought treatment for PTSD in the past.
- How many co-occurring disorders you are currently suffering from.
- If you have pre-existing obligations that might prevent you from entering into residential rehab.
- Other potential restrictions, like what kind of health insurance policy you currently have and how far you are willing to travel for rehab.
Talking Treatments For Ptsd
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence the organisation that produces guidelines on best practice in health care currently recommends two types of talking treatment for PTSD:
- Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy . This is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy specifically adapted for PTSD. NICE recommends that you are offered 812 regular sessions of around 6090 minutes, seeing the same therapist at least once a week. See our pages on for more information about this therapy.
- Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing . This is a fairly new treatment that can reduce PTSD symptoms such as being easily startled. It involves making rhythmic eye movements while recalling the traumatic event. The rapid eye movements are intended to create a similar effect to the way your brain processes memories and experiences while you’re sleeping. EMDR Association UK – a professional association of EMDR clinicians and researchers – provides lots more information about EMDR on its website. They also have a search function to find EMDR-accredited therapists in your area.
NICE may recommend other talking treatments in future if they are found to help with PTSD, but more research is needed.
One of the most disturbing things has been the feelings of aggression and anger towards anyone who looks like the person who attacked me… EMDR therapy has been massively helpful.
What if I don’t feel better?