Magazine article USA TODAY

Not Psychological, but Medical, Condition

Magazine article USA TODAY

Not Psychological, but Medical, Condition

Article excerpt

A Chicago physician is recruiting veterans with PTSD for a study of a medical treatment that he maintains erases the symptoms in 30 minutes. Eugene Lipov, coauthor of Exit Strategy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: New Hope for War Fighters & Civilians Alike, plans to treat patients and follow up with biological marker tests that would help prove his theory that PTSD is a medical, not a psychological, condition.

"The Veterans Administration's treatment for PTSD involves intensive psychological therapy and psychotropic drugs that work only about half the time and can take months or years. My treatment, stellate ganglion block (SGB), involves two injections and works very quickly. In 80% to 85% of patients, it completely erases symptoms."

Lipov has treated 50 patients with SGB, an injection of anesthesia into a cluster of nerves in the neck. His success stories date back to his first patient, who remains symptom-free after three years. Another 45 or so veterans have undergone the treatment at four military institutions, including a small study still underway at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego, Calif.

Lipov theorizes that SGB works because it reduces excessive levels of co,sol, nerve growth factor, and norepinephrine in the brain, all stimulated as an organic response to stress. …

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