There aren’t many ways to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and some of them prove ineffective for some of the patients. A team of researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center tested a new method which significantly reduced the symptoms of the condition. The treatment is innovative and complex, and allows the patients to listen to their brain signals.
PTSD is quite difficult to treat via standard methods
PTSD affects around 8 percent of American people, but is more common among those who served in the military and went to war. These people suffer from acute depression, insomnia, have constant flashbacks of the events which disturbed them, and are extremely distressed over their everyday life. This eventually makes it impossible for them to live a normal life.
Most of the time, PTSD is treated with medication. However, like any drugs, they can have side effects without actually being effective against the symptoms. One other option is psychotherapy, but this doesn’t always improve the clinical symptoms, such as insomnia. Therefore, doctors need some more options to fight against this disease.
Hearing one’s brain waves can ease the PTSD symptoms
This is how these researchers came up with an experimental technique. It is called high-resolution relational resonance-based electroencephalic mirroring, or HIRREM. Patients get some sensors applied on their heads, which start monitoring the electrical waves produced by their brains. These observations are picked up by a computer, which reads them and then turns them into audio frequencies. This way, the patients can actually listen to their brain waves.
Researchers say the brain will automatically understand it is listening to itself, and will start analyzing these frequencies. If they sound unorderly, it will act in no time and try to regulate the signals and calm them down. This way, the brain can react better to stress, thus cutting down the symptoms of PTSD.