Anesthetic procedure could improve symptoms for veterans with PTSD

Researchers hope to study this possible treatment further.
By Thor Benson Contact the Author   |  Oct. 11, 2014 at 8:27 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter
| License Photo

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- A new study that was presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2014 annual meeting claims to have found a useful treatment for people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It claims administering the common anesthetic procedure named the stellate ganglion block (SGB) just one time can lessen depression, anxiety and psychological pain related to PTSD.

"While it doesn't cure the problem, we found that SGB appears to be a fast-acting and effective long-term treatment for chronic, extreme PTSD in veterans," said Michael T. Alkire, M.D., staff anesthesiologist at the Long Beach VA Healthcare System in California. The SGB procedure involves injecting an anesthetic into the base of the neck, and it's only supposed to be effective for three to five hours.

Researchers administered the procedure and monitored 12 patients with PTSD for six months afterward. They found the patients, who had previously shown symptoms of extreme PTSD, then showed indicators of only having mild or normal PTSD symptoms. Though symptoms appeared to improve for the first three months, the effect began to lessen by the end of the six month period. The researchers involved hope to study the effect further to try and understand why it does what it does and how it can be used.

Topics: Michael T.
Trending Stories