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VA PTSD: Brain Linked to PTSD

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San Francisco, CAA recent study conducted by the VA concerning VA PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) suggests that the brain might be linked to development of or recovery from combat PTSD. The study, conducted by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco, found that a specific area of the brain was smaller in veterans who had not recovered from combat PTSD than in veterans who had recovered from their combat stress.

Researchers found that the hippocampus in veterans who had not recovered from their PTSD was on average six percent smaller than in veterans who had recovered. The study involved veterans of the 1990–1991 Gulf War. Of those, 41 currently have PTSD and 41 had recovered from their PTSD. An MRI was used to measure the volumes of the veterans' brains.

Researchers are not sure, however, whether the patient's hippocampus—the part of the brain associated with new memories, emotion, spatial orientation and stress—gets smaller when patients have PTSD and returns to normal size when patients recover, or if patients with a smaller hippocampus to begin with are less likely to recover from their PTSD.

The research was published in the March 15, 2011 issue of Biological Psychiatry and was announced by the University of California, San Francisco. Researchers noted, however, that the subjects' brain volumes were only measured once so there is no conclusive result to the study.

Meanwhile, a therapist in Maryland has complained that the VA has not paid her for psychological counseling services for two months and was behind on payments since the summer of 2010. The psychologist, as quoted by SoMD News, says bureaucracy prevents veterans from receiving access to mental health services, putting veterans with psychological issues at risk of suicide.

One patient, who served in Iraq during 2003 and 2004, said it took several months to obtain disabled status from the VA after PTSD-related anxiety resulted in him losing his job. According to the SoMD News article, the patient was rejected twice for his disability claims before he went to Washington for approval.


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On 08/27/2010 I entered the V.AMC (Mountain Home Tn.) to have a large colon removed, I was discharged: On 09/02/2010: to have leak in the colon repaired, and dis-charged 09/21/2010: On 09/23/2010 I had kidney failure
and returned to V.AMC (Mountain Home Tn). On 09/27/2010 was discharged: On 10/04/2010: I re-entered V.AMC (Mountain Home Tn) on October 4th, 2010 with a second kidney failure and discharged again 10/12/2010: I never received any physical thepy. I am now crippled, can only stand for a short period of time, and cannot walk!!! 11 Months after the surgery, V.AMC (Mountain Home, Tn): decided that I needed some mechanical devised, so I can use the tiolet, put on socks, a devise to help me in and out of bed; when I asked for some type of motorized wheel chair, "I was told no, because my brain was smaller than others at my age: They did a MRI, and found my brain was smaller had and that was a sign of dementia; according to Neurologist Stephen M. Kimbrough M.D. @ V.AMC (Mountain Home, Tn):
My wife knew I was Viet-nam, and that I had PTSD, because she told me I acted out in the V.AMC (Mountain Home, Tn) facility as though I was back in Vietnam; I was rude to the nurses and they had to stand at attention to talk with me, plus according to my wife, I had to be given a plastic tube to feel that I had my rife in hand. For some 45 yrs Im have dealt with PTSD, not any of good at all; with nightmare after nightmare, sleeping for for few hours. I wake up screaming at the top of lungs and crying at the same time ot control anything when that happens.
So yes I know the story, and this article is going to help me greatly, and many others who suffer as I do with PTSD, because we are misunderstood on all fronts.
However, I am concerned as to why Eric Ken Shinseki (Inspector General of Veteran Affairs) In Washington D.C. has not made this study available to all V.A. Facility. Or does the Inspector General of Veteran Affairs, want to hide this?


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