Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Novel Brain and Vestibular Rehabilitation Treatment Modality in PTSD Patients Who have Suffered Combat-Related Traumatic Brain Injuries

Blast-related head injuries are among the most common injuries suffered by military personnel deployed in combat and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or concussion on the battlefield in Iraq/Afghanistan has resulted in its designation as a “signature injury.” Vestibular complaints are the most common sequelae of mTBI, and vestibular rehabilitation (VR) has been established as the most important treatment modality for this group of patients. The effectiveness of a novel brain and VR treatment on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in subjects who had suffered combat-related traumatic brain injuries in terms of PTSD symptom reduction was studied. The difference in the Clinician Administered DSM-IV PTSD Scale (CAPS) scores prior to and after treatment using the subjects as their own matched controls was assessed. The study population consisted of 98 combat veterans maintaining an alpha of <0.05 and power of 80%. Before treatment, 75 subjects representing 76.53 % of the sample were classified in the 2 most severe categories of PTSD. Forty-one subjects, representing 41.80 % of the total sample, were classified in the extreme category of PTSD and 34 subjects, representing 34.70 % of the total sample, were classified in the severe category of PTSD. Following treatment, a substantial decrease in CAPS severity scores with both statistical and substantive significance was observed.

Treatment of PTSD as a physical injury as opposed to a psychiatric disorder is related to strong statistical and substantive significant outcomes associated with a decrease of PTSD classification. The stigma associated with neuropsychiatric disorders could be reduced when PTSD is treated with brain and VR with a potential reduction in suffering of patients, family, and society.