Research Reports - Evaluation of the effectiveness of a novel brain and vestibular rehabilitationt treatment modality in PTSD patients who have suffered traumatic brain injury

Front Public Health. 2015 Feb 4;3:15

Carrick FR(1), McLellan K(2), Brock JB(2), Randall C(3), Oggero E(4)

INTRODUCTION: Blast-related head injuries are among the most prevalent injuries
suffered by military personnel deployed in combat and mild traumatic brain injury
(mTBI) or concussion on the battlefield in Iraq/Afghanistan has resulted in its
designation as a "signature injury." Vestibular complaints are the most frequent
sequelae of mTBI, and vestibular rehabilitation (VR) has been established as the
most important treatment modality for this group of patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We studied the effectiveness of a novel brain and VR
treatment post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in subjects who had suffered
combat-related traumatic brain injuries in terms of PTSD symptom reduction. The
trial was registered as ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02003352.
(http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02003352?term=carrick&rank=6). We analyzed
the difference in the Clinician Administered DSM-IV PTSD Scale (CAPS) scores pre-
and post-treatment using our subjects as their own matched controls. The study
population consisted of 98 combat veterans maintaining an alpha of <0.05 and
power of 80%.
RESULTS: Prior to treatment, 75 subjects representing 76.53 % of the sample were
classified in the 2 most severe categories of PTSD. Forty-one subjects,
representing 41.80 % of the total sample, were classified in the extreme category
of PTSD and 34 subjects, representing 34.70 % of the total sample, were
classified in the severe category of PTSD. After treatment, we observed a large
reduction in CAPS severity scores with both statistical and substantive
significance.
DISCUSSION: Treatment of PTSD as a physical injury rather than a psychiatric
disorder is associated with strong statistical and substantive significant
outcomes associated with a decrease of PTSD classification. The stigma associated
with neuropsychiatric disorders may be lessened when PTSD is treated with brain
and VR with a potential decrease in suffering of patients, family, and society.

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