(DGIwire) – Recognizing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a friend or family member is the first step toward getting them the treatment they need. Knowing about the range of available options for care is the next vital step after that. Here are a few important questions and answers to keep in mind for those close to someone who might be in need of help:
- What are the signs of PTSD? According to the National Center for PTSD, a division of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are four types of symptoms someone with PTSD will experience: reliving the traumatic event (via nightmares or flashbacks or intrusive memories); avoiding situations that remind them of the event; experiencing negative changes in beliefs and feelings; and hyperarousal (always feeling jittery, alert and on the lookout for danger, feeling irritable, problems with concentration).
- What factors increase the risk of PTSD? The National Institute of Mental Health suggests a friend or family member could be at increased risk of PTSD if they: lived through a dangerous event or trauma; became injured; saw another person being injured or killed; received little or no social support after the event; or have a history of other psychiatric conditions or substance use problems.
- What types of counseling might help someone with PTSD? Friends and family members of someone with PTSD might encourage them to pursue psychotherapy, of which there are many different types. According to the National Center for PTSD, one option is cognitive behavior therapy, in which skills are taught that allow someone to understand how trauma alters thoughts and feelings; another type is prolonged exposure, in which trauma is discussed until memories are no longer upsetting and the body is no longer hyperaroused.
- Are there new treatments being studied? Clinical studies for PTSD look at new ways to treat the condition. During a study, therapeutic approaches might include new treatments or new ways to use existing treatments. The goal is to determine if a new test or treatment works and is safe, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. For example, one study involving an investigational new drug as a potential treatment for PTSD, the HONOR study, is enrolling veterans or those currently serving in any branch of the military or as a military contractor.
“After encouraging results from an earlier study, called AtEase, we are looking for volunteers who may wish to participate in the next phase of research to support the product registration,” says Seth Lederman, MD, the CEO of Tonix Pharmaceuticals, which is developing innovative pharmaceutical products to address public health challenges, with its lead program focusing on PTSD. “It would be worthwhile for those who know someone who fits the profile of PTSD to learn more about what clinical research studies are currently looking for participants to evaluate the efficacy and safety of potential new treatment for PTSD.”
To protect the subjects’ identities and confidential medical information, the study organizers have obtained a Certificate of Confidentiality from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to ensure patients’ identities are shielded from all persons not connected with this clinical research project. The holder of this Certificate of Confidentiality may not be compelled in any Federal, state, or local civil, criminal, administrative, legislative or other proceedings to identify the research subjects. To see if you or someone you know is pre-qualified to participate in this research study, please access the study website for this ongoing research study, TheHonorStudy.com, and learn more about it at https://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT03062540.
Currently there are no satisfactory approved drug treatments for military-related PTSD. The investigational new drug used in the HONOR study represents a new approach to treating the condition. While symptoms of PTSD may improve or worsen while taking part in this study, participation will provide information about the study drug, a new approach to treating PTSD, that might benefit others with the condition in the future.
* TNX-102 SL is an investigational new drug and has not been approved for any indication.