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New treatment eases symptoms of PTSD

The United States Navy will soon launch a full-scale study of a potential cure for posttraumatic stress disorder.

Dr. Eugene Lipov of Advanced Pain Specialists in suburban Chicago developed the treatment for menopausal symptoms but discovered it also appears to work on the life-altering symptoms of PTSD.

It's estimated that 40,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have returned hom with the disorder, often caused by the severe shock of battle.

It can also follow other traumatic events, as exhibited in those who witnessed first-hand the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Victims of sexual assault have also been diagnosed with PTSD.

Victims of those events find that they cannot often adjust to a normal life and experience flashbacks to the horrific act that caused their PTSD.

Only about half of the patients receive some relief from medications or counseling.

During treatment, Lipov injects a common painkiller into a nerve center located in the neck.

It takes just seconds, and Lipov said he's seen success with all 15 patients he's had.

Navy physician Capt. Anita Hickey has observed what's being called the "Chicago Block" and is about to begin a study with PTSD patients at a naval medical center in San Diego.

If the study proves that the procedure works, the Chicago Block may become the best method of treating PTSD.

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