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Brainwave Research Helping Veterans

Brainwave research has led to new insights into psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and help guide future development of new anti-psychotic drugs. This new research can be of great benefit to returning veterans with PTSD , Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and depression. Military veterans often suffer with depression and other mental health issues. Up until now drugs have been a solution to treat various mental issues on a trial and error basis.

Scientists at the University of Aberdeen have studied two types of brainwaves – theta and gamma waves – in the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. They have discovered that connections between rare types of nerve cells in the brain orchestrate the generation and interaction of these brain rhythms. These cells send out inhibitory signals to thousands of other cells and therefore generate the brainwaves. A team of biologists and mathematicians from several universities reveal the actual link between these cells that helps trigger brain activity. The scientists also discovered that this link plays a part in how different brain waves interact with each other.

This new research tool may help doctors choose the correct medication on a patient the first time. This new research tool melds the oldest method of brain imaging with cutting-edge crowd sourcing could re revolutionize the way doctors prescribe medications for mental health problems.

Walter Reed Medical Center researchers are so interested in the brainwave research they have begun a 15-month study. Many veterans and military members with PTSD or TBI will benefit from the study. Walter Reed and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital are recruiting veterans with depression to participate in the study.

PTSD often stems from war, but also can be a result of exposure to any psychologically traumatic event. The disorder can manifest itself in flashbacks, recurring nightmares, anger or hyper-vigilance. Veterans that have seen combat often suffer from some form of PTSD and/or depression.

The ability to objectively diagnose PTSD through concrete evidence of neural activity, its impact and its manifestation is the first step toward effectively helping veterans who suffer from PTSD with the correct initial medication.

Carol Miraula – Military Connection Staff Writer