Novel Neurotherapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
The recent military buildup in Iraq and Afghanistan with its associated stressors of warfare have resulted in a significant increase in new cases of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sleep disturbances comprise prominent features of PTSD and have been suggested to have a pathogenic role in the disease. PTSD is characterized by disinhibition of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep including decreased REM latency and increased REM density. The proposed system will be designed to characterize sleep abnormalities, optimize interventions, and apply novel neurotherapy. The goal for treating PTSD is to restructure the sleep staging to achieve more normal sleep. The rationale derives from research demonstrating that therapeutic sleep deprivation leads to an immediate amelioration of depression. The clinical utility of this procedure is limited due to the fact that the improvement usually subsides after a night of sleep and the difficulty of implementation of the protocols in the sleep laboratory. The team will design and evaluate a system that automatically scores and stages sleep in real-time with the goal of awakening the patient whenever abnormal sleep is identified. The investigators hypothesize that the system will achieve clinical outcome results comparable to that of TSD with a therapy that is practical and achievable.
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ADVANCED BRAIN MONITORING
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