Showing posts with label brain scans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brain scans. Show all posts

Monday, May 13, 2019

Yale researcher find elevated risk of suicide with PTSD

Biomarker reveals PTSD sufferers at risk of suicide

Yale News
By Bill Hathaway
May 13, 2019
There are two FDA approved treatments for PTSD, both of which are anti-depressants. It can take weeks or months to determine whether they are effective. That can be too late for those who are suicidal, note the researchers.

Brains of individuals with PTSD and suicidal thoughts (top) show higher levels of mGluR5 compared to healthy controls (bottom).

The risk of suicide among individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is much higher than the general population, but identifying those individuals at greatest risk has been difficult. However, a team at Yale has discovered a biological marker linked to individuals with PTSD who are most likely to think about suicide, the researchers report May 13 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers used PET imaging to measure levels of metabotropic glutamatergic receptor 5 (mGluR5) — which has been implicated in anxiety and mood disorders — in individuals with PTSD and major depressive disorder. They found high levels of mGluR5 in the PTSD group with current suicidal thoughts. They found no such elevated levels in the PTSD group with no suicidal thoughts or in those with depression, with or without current suicidal thoughts.
read more here

Wonder if they ever thought to study people who are healing PTSD instead?

Can you imagine what that scan would look like or how much hope it would offer to people with PTSD to see that they could not just change their lives but actually change the way their brain works by filling it up with more hopeful thoughts?

Imagine if they took a scan of someone before they believed they were worthy of being forgiven and then one after they accepted the fact they were? 

Why do researchers only track what is failing instead of tracking people who have managed to take control of their lives again?

Friday, April 12, 2019

Ariana Grande shares brain scan of PTSD to #BreakTheSilence

Ariana Grande ‘Didn’t Mean to Startle’ Anyone With ‘Terrifying’ Brain Scan Pics

US Weekly
By Dan Clarendon
April 12, 2019

“I wish there was more that I could fix. You think with time it’ll become easier to talk about. Or you’ll make peace with it. But every day I wait for that peace to come, and it’s still very painful.” Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande wants fans to know that her post-traumatic stress disorder is “not a joke,” and she documented her mental health struggle with brain scan images posted to her Instagram Stories on Thursday, April 11.

The post displays images of a typical brain scan, a brain scan from someone suffering from PTSD, and Grande’s brain scan. The scan of the PTSD-affected brain showed more highlighted areas than that of the typical brain, but Grande’s brain scan showed even more highlighted areas than either of them. In her caption, the 26-year-old called her scans “hilarious and terrifying.”
read more here

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Many Different Wounds You Cannot See Still Just As Real

I often get offended when some folks want to say PTSD is an "invisible wound" almost as if that allows them to walk away without ever really thinking about it. 

Take all the other "invisible wounds" and then try to dismiss them. A broken bone does not always break through the skin, yet a broken bone still causes pain and needs help to heal. 

What about a headache or toothache? Can anyone see that pain? What about torn tendons or pulled muscles? Can anyone see them with just their eyes?

About six months ago I started to have problems with my left leg. I thought it would just get better, but it didn't. It got worse. After the last time I fell, I decided to go see my doctor.

He could tell I was in pain even though there was nothing for him to see as far as my leg was concerned. He sent me for an MRI. 

What if he didn't know me or the fact that I have a high tolerance to pain? What if he didn't believe the pain I was reporting was real?

It tuns out the MRI showed a reason for the pain. I have nerve damage and it has been causing the pain running down my leg. No one can see it with just their eyes. They can only tell by the way I walk that I am in pain.

With PTSD, no one can see it unless they either know the person or use a medical scan to see it. The fact is, the pain is so real inside, if you know them, you can see the pain they carry. You cannot see a lot of things unless you actually take the time and look.

We know that it is real, just as real, as traumatic brain injury, and that is what technology has proven. The pain is real but only machines can see what you feel. That is, unless you happen to be with others, who not only see your pain, but help you carry the load until they help you heal.

The longer you wait to heal, the more you torture yourself. You could be healing right now instead of suffering.

This video is about TBI.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Brain's Response to Trauma, Increase Emotional Memory

This is for anyone who cannot understand what trauma does. It is not mental illness. It is not just psychological. It is also emotional. The only way to get PTSD is by surviving traumatic events. Hope you caught the word "surviving" since the victims did not survive to tell us anything. You were stronger than the event when it happened and you are strong enough to defeat it now.  Get help to fight for your life again.
Trauma Changes Your Brain’s Response To New Events, Increasing Activity In Emotional Memory Regions
Medical City
By Susan Scutti
Jun 23, 2015
“This traumatic incident still haunts passengers regardless of whether they have PTSD or not,” Palombo said. “They remember the event as though it happened yesterday.”
Following a trauma, we see the world through different eyes.

While many people intuitively agree with this statement, a new MRI study offers some hard evidence in support of this belief.

Remembering a near-plane crash they had experienced, a group of participants showed greater responses in brain regions involved in emotional memory — the amygdala, hippocampus, and midline frontal and posterior regions.

Interestingly, these same former passengers showed a remarkably similar pattern of brain activity when recalling the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which occurred shortly after the emergency plane landing, even though none of them had personal experience with the attacks.

“Mundane experiences tend to fade with the passage of time, but trauma leaves a lasting memory trace,” said Dr. Daniela Palombo, lead author of the study and a post-doctoral researcher at Boston University School of Medicine, in a press release. read more here

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Afghanistan-Iraq 4 tour Veteran needs help with cancer battle

Local Father, Husband and Iraq Veteran Clint Side Fights Cancer, Needs Community’s Help
Thurston Talk
Submitted by Michelle Pierce, Uncork and Unwind
September 3, 2014

Please allow me to introduce to you a local family, who is fighting a horrible disease. Clint Side is an army veteran who served our country for 6 years and completed four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Reini Side, is a lifelong resident of the Olympia area and works for the state. In January 2013, Clint and Reini welcomed their beautiful little girl, Felicity, who made her arrival as the first baby in Thurston County.

Clint is battling for his life against glioblastoma multiforme grade IV (GBM) brain cancer – the most aggressive kind of brain cancer. Clint fought bravely for his country, and now his wife, Reini, is bravely fighting to get the treatment he desperately needs.

Clint’s situation is very unique as he has survived brain cancer for the past three and a half years. They first discovered a GBM in 2010 and doctors gave him less than a year to live, even with treatment. With chemo/radiation, and a huge amount of prayer, Clint beat the odds and has had clean MRIs for years.

Just a few months ago, a routine MRI indicated that Clint’s tumor had returned. He underwent surgery in June but, due to the location of his tumor, only 70% could be removed. The remaining 30% was inoperable, as it pressed right against his speech/motor center. The tests revealed it was again GBM.

Clint and Reini have been working tirelessly with medical professionals in Seattle to find the right treatment plan for Clint. They have jumped through hoop after clint side fundraiserhoop with insurance issues to make sure that Clint’s treatment is covered. They just received the devastating news this week that his tumor is now too big for the treatment that the cancer specialists originally prescribed. So, they are in a race against time to get another treatment plan approved and started. It needs to happen immediately.
read more here

Monday, June 9, 2014

Scans Show Veterans with PTSD Hyperarousal

PTSD won't let go so you have to force it to move. You are not stuck the way you are today. Take care of your body and your spirit as well as your mind and change again.
PTSD: Scans reveal soldiers’ brains stay in hyper-aroused state
The Globe and Mail
Jun. 08 2014

Almost a century ago, soldiers returned from the First World War as changed men. They had obvious but sometimes invisible injuries: depression, flashbacks, recurrent memories, emotional and physical distress. The term coined for this phenomenon – shell shock – applied in physical and psychological cases, and while medical researchers endeavoured to understand the condition, it was seen by some as merely lack of character. In fact, hundreds of “shell-shocked” British soldiers were executed for cowardice and desertion (it wasn’t until 2006 that their families were notified they would receive posthumous pardons).

Warfare evolved, and along with it the terminology around the condition. Shell shock became “combat fatigue” in the Second World War, and then “operational stress injury.” But the stigma surrounding the injury endured.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a significant issue in the Canadian military. According to a report from the Library of Parliament, one in 10 veterans released between 1998 and 2007 were diagnosed with PTSD. The figure rose to 24 per cent when other mental health illnesses were considered, including depression and bipolar disorder.

Treatment is offered to current and former soldiers, but the military’s mental health services are strained. When symptoms become chronic, soldiers and veterans often have trouble working and face higher risks of alcohol abuse, drug addiction, run-ins with the law and suicide.
The enterprising research began when Pang Shek, senior scientist at Defence Research and Development Canada (an arm of the Department of National Defence), conceived the idea of using magnetoencephalography technology to assess PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). He helped secure funding and put together a team of researchers from SickKids, the Canadian Forces Health Services and the United States Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Dr. Paul Sedge, clinical leader for mental health at the Canadian Forces Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centre in Ottawa, personally recruited 50 soldiers under the age of 40, 25 of whom had a PTSD diagnosis and 25 of whom did not, for the brain-imaging experiment.

The men were shown combat-related words and images to test their speed of information processing and memory recall. Then a magnetoencephalography (MEG) machine, a sophisticated neuroimaging tool that looks like an old-fashioned, salon-style hair dryer, measured their responses to stimuli.

“The brain scans of the two groups showed huge differences in how the men with and without PTSD processed the images,” said an elated Dr. Margot Taylor, director of functional neuroimaging in the Department of Diagnostic Imaging at SickKids.

“We could see heightened arousal that was maintained in the PTSD-afflicted men, and not in the men who don’t suffer from the illness. The reality is those with PTSD can’t let it go. Their brains stay in a hyper-aroused state,” Taylor said.
read more here

Monday, March 17, 2014

$1 billion a year on brain scans but most not needed

What a Headache: $1 Billion in Brain Scans
NBC News

U.S. headache sufferers are racking up nearly a $1 billion a year on brain scans — and the vast majority of them are probably unnecessary, a new analysis finds.

About one in every eight visits to a doctor for an uncomplicated headache or migraine from 2007 to 2010 resulted in the patient getting an MRI or a CT scan, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

And the number of imaging procedures is going up, not down, nearly tripling from 5.1 percent to 14.7 of all visits, despite national guidelines that recommend against routine use. Experts say that brain scans detect serious problems in only a fraction — 1 percent to 3 percent — of all headache cases.

That makes doctors suspect that patient demand, not actual need, may be pushing the scans that drive up the nation’s health care costs.

“The number one reason physicians give for ordering the scans is patient reassurance,” said Dr. Brian Callaghan, the University of Michigan Health System assistant professor of neurology who led the study. “A billion dollars is a lot for patient reassurance.”

In addition to boosting costs, unnecessary scans expose patients to potentially harmful radiation and can result in false positives that lead to unnecessary treatment and anxiety, Callaghan said.
read more here

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gulf War veterans brain scans begin to offer hope

Brain scans lead to discovery of two types of veterans suffering from Gulf War syndrome
By Alan Zarembo
Los Angeles Times
Published: June 16, 2013

LOS ANGELES - Using brain scans and exercise stress tests, researchers have identified two biologically distinct subgroups of veterans suffering from "Gulf War illness."

Their bodies reacted differently to physical exertion, and their brains had atrophied in different regions.

None of the patterns were seen in a control group of healthy subjects.

The findings, published online Friday in the journal PLOS One, are part of a growing body of work that the authors said could eventually lead to biological markers for the mysterious condition, which is still defined by its hodgepodge of symptoms.

"That's the hope," said Georgetown University researcher Rakib Rayhan, lead author of the study.

Still, the importance of the differences his team identified is far from clear, said Dr. Beatrice Golomb, an expert on Gulf War illness at UC San Diego, who was not involved in the research. There are many ways to parse any population of patients with a condition that is so variable and diverse, she said.

After the 1991 Gulf War, veterans began complaining of various problems, including pain, fatigue, headaches and cognitive impairment. The symptoms ranged from mild to debilitating.

Up to 30 percent of the 700,000 troops who served in the war are thought to be affected.
read more here

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Young vets with PTSD receive more CT scans

Young vets with PTSD receive more CT scans
May 2, 2013
Psychology and Psychiatry

Computed tomography scans are significantly more commonly used in young veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to young veterans without PTSD, according to research published in the May issue of Radiology. (HealthDay)—Computed tomography (CT) scans are significantly more commonly used in young veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to young veterans without PTSD, according to research published in the May issue of Radiology.
read more here

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Helping heroes: Brain scan for PTSD

Helping heroes: Brain scan for PTSD
Jan. 23, 2012
BACKGROUND: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms typically start within three months of a traumatic event. In a small number of cases, though, PTSD symptoms may not appear until years after the event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while. But with time and taking care of yourself, such traumatic reactions usually get better. In some cases, though, the symptoms can get worse or last for months or even years. Sometimes they may completely shake up your life. In a case such as this, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder. Getting treatment as soon as possible after post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms develop may prevent long-term post-traumatic stress disorder. (
read more here

Monday, November 9, 2009

Scanning invisible damage of PTSD, brain blasts

Whenever you hear anyone complain about money being spent taking care of our veterans, remind them of something. Anything done for them is done for the benefit of the rest of us as well.

What scientist study, really study with new technology not available when PTSD research first began, will end up helping all civilians in their own lives.

If you doubt this then think about what happens when traumatic events strike. Crisis teams arrive to be able to address these horrific events right after they happen so that no one has to walk away with no one to talk to. We have to face the fact that trauma survivors will return to family and friends with absolutely no understanding of this and unable to help. Worse, they may make things worse because of what they do not know. Trauma is abnormal but their reactions to it is what normal humans do.

The only objection we should have when it comes to doing this type of research is when they repeat studies they've already done over the years. This type of study is new and this technology is vital to addressing the "realness" of PTSD and TBI.

Scanning invisible damage of PTSD, brain blasts
By LAURAN NEERGAARD (AP) – 1 hour ago

WASHINGTON — Powerful scans are letting doctors watch just how the brain changes in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and concussion-like brain injuries — signature damage of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

It's work that one day may allow far easier diagnosis for patients — civilian or military — who today struggle to get help for these largely invisible disorders. For now it brings a powerful message: Problems too often shrugged off as "just in your head" in fact do have physical signs, now that scientists are learning where and how to look for them.

"There's something different in your brain," explains Dr. Jasmeet Pannu Hayes of Boston University, who is helping to lead that research at the Veterans Affairs' National Center for PTSD. "Just putting a real physical marker there, saying that this is a real thing," encourages more people to seek care.

Up to one in five U.S. veterans from the long-running combat in Iraq and Afghanistan is thought to have symptoms of PTSD. An equal number are believed to have suffered traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs — most that don't involve open wounds but hidden damage caused by explosion's pressure wave.

Many of those TBIs are considered similar to a concussion, but because symptoms may not be apparent immediately, many soldiers are exposed multiple times, despite evidence from the sports world that damage can add up, especially if there's little time between assaults.

"My brain has been rattled," is how a recently retired Marine whom Hayes identifies only as Sgt. N described the 50 to 60 explosions he estimates he felt while part of an ordnance disposal unit.

Hayes studied the man in a new way, tracking how water flows through tiny, celery stalk-like nerve fibers in his brain — and found otherwise undetectable evidence that those fibers were damaged in a brain region that explained his memory problems and confusion.

Her lab performed MRI scans while patients either tried to suppress their negative memories, or followed PTSD therapy and changed how they thought about their trauma. That fear-processing region quickly cooled down when people followed the PTSD therapy.

It's work that has implications far beyond the military: About a quarter of a million Americans will develop PTSD at some point in their lives. Anyone can develop it after a terrifying experience, from a car accident or hurricane to rape or child abuse.

read more here

Scanning invisible damage of PTSD, brain blasts

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Shoot the Messenger - VA Tries to Fire Doctor-Turned-Whistleblower in Texas

"I had a chance to help 40,000 veterans with brain injury," Van Boven said. "I felt this was a gift and a blessing to help those who have served and suffered, and I am well trained to do it. ... I don't want these soldiers to become the next generation of homeless veterans."

Nov 1: Shoot the Messenger - VA Tries to Fire Doctor-Turned-Whistleblower in Texas

Laurel Chesky
Austin Chronicle (Texas)

Nov 01, 2008
October 31, 2008 - It all began with such promise. The Brain Imaging and Recovery Laboratory, launched in January, would hunt for treatments for what has become the Iraq war's signature ailment: traumatic brain injury. A program of the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, BIRL was housed at the University of Texas' J.J. Pickle Research Campus, where VA researchers had access to UT's $2.7 million brain scanner to help diagnose invisible head injuries.

But now, BIRL's research has ceased, and the program's director, neurologist Dr. Robert Van Boven, has been suspended from duty with pay since September, while the VA decides what to do with him. On Oct. 15, the VA held a closed hearing to determine whether or not to terminate Van Boven's employment. A board presiding over the hearing is expected to make a recommendation to Thomas Smith, the director of the Central Texas system, within a few weeks.

Van Boven is a compact, tightly wound man. Fast-talking and brimming with energy, he could serve as poster boy for the type A personality. His educational and professional feats match his tireless demeanor. Van Boven earned a doctorate in dental surgery from the University of Illinois and an M.D. from the University of Missouri. He completed two neurology residencies, at Harvard's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and at Northwestern University. He has worked as a clinician at the National Institutes of Health and as an associate professor at Chicago Medical School and Louisiana State University.

go here for more

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

PTSD brain change seen on MRI

PTSD is a wound that you can see, if you happen to have a MRI

Does stress damage the brain?
Individuals who experience military combat obviously endure extreme stress, and this exposure leaves a number of diagnosed with the psychiatric condition of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

PTSD is linked to several abnormalities in brain structure and function. However, as researcher Roger Pitman explains, Eventhough it is tempting to conclude that these abnormalities were caused by the traumatic event, it is also possible that they were pre-existing risk factors that increased the risk of developing PTSD upon the traumatic events occurrence. Drs. Kasai and Yamasue along with their colleagues sought to examine this association in a new study reported in the March 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry.
click above for the rest

You know me too well. You saw this rant coming as soon as you read the title of the study.

Deep breath, here we go!

The SOB brass in the military had better come up with different excuses to ignore this now! Test after test, study after study and there are still some denying PTSD is a real wound. It comes from an outside force called TRAUMA! It has nothing to do with their twisted logic that if they had trained better, were not cowards or trying to "suck off the system" then they would be "real men" and do their jobs no matter what happens to them. After all, they "enlisted" didn't they?

The bullshit I keep reading from the commanders still acting as if these wounded soldiers, especially wounded Marines, should be tried as cowards, makes me want to go over to them an slap their faces or use, what my husband said should have been sent to Vietnam, my mouth! He says it's lethal when I'm angry.

If the Brass Bastards would start being ashamed of being such idiots when it comes to PTSD instead of being ashamed of the men and women under their command, this would have changed for all the wounded a long time ago. I guess their training didn't include intelligence!

Then we have the jerks within the units still acting as if the buddy they trusted with their lives is suddenly a different person instead of a wounded warrior! Do these fools ever read anything besides Play Boy? How many lives could have been saved if these Neanderthals remembered they were human as well?

I'm still getting attacked by comic book academics claiming PTSD is fake claim~
After this report, be warned, screw privacy if you email me and sound like a dope. I'll print it for the sake of the wounded you are attacking. I'd rather make you look like an idiot than lose one more wounded warrior over this.

By the way, take it seriously because as a Chaplain, I'm not going to lie.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pentagon did not give brain exams for TBI because of claims?

Colonel: Pentagon delayed brain injury exams

By Gregg Zoroya - USA Today
Posted : Tuesday Mar 18, 2008 8:08:48 EDT

For more than two years, the Pentagon delayed screening troops returning from Iraq for mild brain injuries because officials feared veterans would blame vague ailments on the little-understood wound caused by exposure to bomb blasts, said the military’s director of medical assessments.

Air Force Col. Kenneth Cox said in an interview that the Pentagon wanted to avoid another controversy such as the so-called Gulf War syndrome. About 10,000 veterans blamed medical conditions from cancer to eczema on their service.

The Pentagon did not acknowledge the syndrome until Congress created a committee to study it in 1998.

For troops who think they may have a condition not designated as war-related, Cox said, often “they’re reacting to rumors, things that they’ve read about or heard about on the Internet or [from] their friends.”

That uncertainty, Cox said, means “some individuals will seek a diagnosis from provider to provider to provider.” It also makes treating veterans “much more difficult and much more costly,” he said.

Asked whether mild traumatic brain injury could turn into another Gulf War syndrome, Cox said, “It could.”

“That’s baloney,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., founder of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. “There was no need to delay this.”

go here for the rest

If you are not fully outraged over this then you are not even engaged in what is going on with our troops. This is beyond outrageous! It's inexcusable! How could anyone in their right mind think that finding out what a soldier was wounded by would be a bad thing to do because they may turn around and file a claim for being wounded? How many came home with TBI not knowing what was wrong with them and how many ended up being discharged for being wounded?