KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Two U.S. researchers say dogs appear to be helpful to soldiers and former soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Craig Love, a research psychologist, and Joan Esnayra, founder of the Psychiatric Service Dog Society, discussed their work Thursday during a conference on military health research in Kansas City, The Kansas City Star reported. They are about to begin a $300,000 study, funded by the Defense Department, at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington.
Love and Esnayra surveyed 39 people with PTSD who were given service dogs and found 82 percent reported a reduction in symptoms.
There are now about 10,000 psychiatric service dogs in the United States. What they do depends partly on the symptoms experienced by the people with whom they are paired.
In the case of people with PTSD, the dogs can be trained to nudge them when they show signs of panic attacks. They can also help calm PTSD patients down by reacting calmly or not reacting at all to something the person perceives as a threat.
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