San Diego Naval Medical Center Trials Anesthetic for PTSD

Researchers at the Naval Medical Center San Diego are testing stellate ganglion block treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

Robert McLay, MD, and Anita Hickey, MD, are midway through a two-year study of more than 40 active-duty Marines, soldiers and sailors diagnosed with PTSD. They have found that volunteers receiving the injections are recovering better than those receiving placebos.

Despite early successes, the researchers still have many questions about the treatment. For example, why does the treatment work on some patients but not on others? How many shots are needed to combat PTSD effectively? Are there side effects to be aware of?

The treatment was developed by Chicago anesthesiologist Eugene Lipov, MD, who pioneered its use among his patients, many of them former military personnel.

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