Navigation Links
Keeping the suicidal soldier alive
Date:9/2/2009

According to a recent Washington Post study, approximately 20% of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are psychologically damaged. Among them are a substantial number with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the high rate of suicide among PTSD sufferers has become unacceptable to Army commanders and the soldiers' families.

Thanks to new research from Tel Aviv University, however, doctors will now be able to forecast a soldier's chances of falling prey to PTSD, with the chance of intervening to prevent military-related suicides.

Prof. Talma Hendler of TAU's Department of Psychology and Psychiatry and the founding director of the Tel Aviv Functional Brain Center has developed a new predictive tool for detecting at-risk soldiers. The tool will permit clinicians to diagnose and treat these soldiers immediately before the stressors of combat lead to chronic psychological problems. Studying a group of 50 Israeli soldiers ― trained medics who experienced extreme stress in live combat zones ― Prof. Hendler and her graduate student Roee Admon in collaboration with Col. Dr. Gad Lubin from the Israel Defense Forces were able to predict which soldiers would develop significant increases in stress symptoms such as mood decline, intrusive thoughts, and sleep disturbance.

This May, Prof. Hendler was given a special award from the U.S. Army Commanding General of Medical Research for her advances. The research was published in the August issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Metering and monitoring stress with an fMRI

Prof. Hendler's research shows functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be used to forecast which soldiers might be vulnerable to stress psychopathology in the future. The non-invasive imaging method records the brain activity of military personnel before they enter active duty. Using this baseline as a reference, the researchers can predict which soldier is more prone to exhibit after exposure combat-related stress symptoms symptoms that can trigger PTSD or major depression.

The TAU researchers measured the levels of "stress symptoms" twice: first when the soldiers were drafted, then again a year-and-a-half later, during their active duty in combat units. The soldiers were also asked a series of questions evaluating their experience in the army. With this data, researchers developed predictive brain measurements for whether or not a soldier would develop stress.

Having such an early biological marker, says Prof. Hendler, means that diagnosis and treatment can begin immediately following exposure to situational trauma. It is the first fMRI-based study in the world to measure brain activation under stress over a long period of time with respect to prior to stress.

Catching a soldier before he falls

"Looking at the part of the brain called the amygdala, we were able to predict how many stress symptoms of PTSD an individual soldier would develop," says Prof. Hendler. She notes that other brain activity was modified by the stress giving indications of the appropriate intensity and approach of treatment after the stress and trauma set in. Prof. Hendler is currently planning a larger study in this direction.

While Prof. Hendler doesn't believe that the fMRI should be used prejudicially to weed soldiers from certain units, she says that it does give specialists a new set of clues as to how to treat soldiers early and effectively, decreasing the rates of military suicide. This field of science is applied in a growing specialty known as "personalized medicine."

"This tool can help provide tailored therapy to the afflicted and at a very early stage could identify the extreme cases that might otherwise go unnoticed," says Prof. Hendler.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Keeping Kids Healthy and Fit: The New York Kids Club Launches a Revolutionary New Fitness Program
2. Statins reduce loss of function, keeping old lungs young - even in smokers
3. FORGET THE JONESES, This is All About Keeping up With the Walkers as the Los Angeles Jewish Home Sends Out an Invite to Everyone Named Walker in the United States
4. Random drug testing not reliable in keeping teen athletes from using
5. Tips for Keeping Food Portions Under Control, from Harvard Womens Health Watch
6. Is fear of gaining weight keeping many women from trying to quit smoking?
7. Drug slows prostate tumor growth by keeping vitamin A active
8. On World AIDS Day, Keeping the Promise to Stop AIDS Through the Power of Partnerships
9. Pneumonia Vaccine Is Keeping Kids Healthier
10. Arimidex Beats Tamoxifen in Keeping Breast Cancer at Bay
11. New meal planning website launches just in time to help todays busy, health-conscious families and individuals to beat the odds when it comes to keeping their New Years resolutions around eating healthier and getting organized
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Keeping the suicidal soldier alive
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... A ... Safety Congress and Expo event March 9-11, 2016. Hosted by Ohio's Bureau of ... , As the longest running and largest worker's compensation event in Ohio, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... Everseat digital self-scheduling readily available to physicians. The integration will enable Allscripts ... and select appointments via Everseat’s free mobile app. , The partnership gives Everseat ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... Jacksonville, FL 32224, February 26th: Amateur & Professional Divisions - Time: 7:00pm ... 7:00pm – 10:00pm | Ticket Prices $30, Social Media: http://www.USPoleSportsFed.org , ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... ... Workrite Ergonomics, who is celebrating their 25th year of business in 2016, is ... recognized leader in their industry. , "We are very proud of our heritage and ... “Workrite recognized the importance of good ergonomics before most of our competition even knew ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Anxiety of older Americans over steep cost increases of prescription ... decade ago, according to The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). Since last ... with rapidly rising costs. “The implications are chilling, particularly for people with chronic ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016 ALSP, Inc. announced that it has appointed ... Medical Affairs in preparation for its move into clinical trials ... CEO, stated, "We are pleased to welcome Dallas Hack ... with an individual of such practical knowledge and far-reaching experience ... deeply on his broad experience and success as a clinician ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016 Intouch Solutions, a ... identified an industry-wide trend regarding the evolution of ... organizations to efficiently deliver compelling sales presentations via ... and another in 2015, Intouch uncovered that while ... devices and DSAs, many are not using them ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016  Until recently, the options for reducing the ... the FDA approved the non-invasive Coolsculpting treatment, which removes ... originally approved in 2010 for the abdomen and this ... chin. With this add-on approval, the experts at Laser ... applicator, the CoolMini, to address smaller areas of fat. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: