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Study shows possible cure for combat-related PTSD

Coming Home New Veterans
In this March 19, 2010 photo, former Navy corpsman Ryan McNabb, being treated for PTSD, poses for a portrait at his childhood home where he and his family live with his parents in Winthrop Harbor, Ill. After two stints in Iraq, McNabb, 29, works as an outreach coordinator for a Vet Center in suburban Chicago. America has a new generation of veterans. More than 1.6 million troops are back from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mental health is a big concern. More than half of the new veterans who have sought care through the VA were diagnosed with a mental disorder. In more than 217,000 cases it was post-traumatic stress syndrome, or PTSD. Nearly 165,000 were diagnosed with depression.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(SAN ANTONIO, TX) —  Researchers report that treatment for combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be both quick and effective for the hundreds of thousands of U.S. military personnel and veterans facing the diagnosis.   Their study showed clinically significant reductions in PTSD symptoms in more than 60 percent of patients and long-term remission of diagnosis in more than 50 percent after three weeks of outpatient “Prolonged Exposure” therapy.

The landmark study was done in Texas and finds that combat-related PTSD can be cured.

The research team, led by Alan Peterson, PhD, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio), conducted the randomized clinical trial with 234 military personnel and veterans recruited from four locations in South and Central Texas. The effort was part of the work of the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD (CAP), a national network jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The research showed that stead of therapy once a week over a series of months, veterans who devoted time to an intense three-week format led to more than half of participants completely losing their PTSD diagnosis.