UConn Gets Federal Money to Study PTSD Treatment

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Since 2001, more than 13,000 Connecticut residents have served in the military in Afghanistan and Iraq and many reserve troops have rotated in and out of the region a few times. For some, the roller coaster ride of emotion never ends.

Now, researchers at the UConn Health Center will study post-traumatic stress on veterans with help from a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Researchers will compare two treatments for PTSD and anger problems in men who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We know that PTSD interferes with all important walks of life for returning military personnel, particularly due to problems with anger. But with timely and effective treatment, these problems can be overcome," said Julian Ford, the principal investigator and an expert on PTSD.

Ford's study will test the efficacy of a therapy called Prolonged Exposure and a newer method designed to enhance skills for managing anger and other emotions called TARGET: Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy.

Prolonged exposure helps resolve the troubling memories and teaches stress management skills and TARGET uses a seven-step process Ford designed to help the person learn how focused and mindful thinking can change the body's stress reactions.

The goals of both therapies are to help PTSD sufferers with anger, irritability and sleep difficulties.

Veterans interested in participating in the study will be screened for eligibility. Veterans interested in participating should call study coordinator Michelle Slivinsky at 860-679-2214.


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