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New OHSU Study Looks At Alternative Therapies for Combat Stress

Scientists at Oregon Health and Science University are starting a new study to find out if alternative therapies – like meditation – can help combat veterans deal with stress. But as Kristian Foden-Vencil reports, researchers are having problems getting PTSD sufferers to volunteer.

Doctor Helane Wahbeh has set up a test that shows a series of violent images to someone suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her hope is that the brain activity she records, as well as heart rate and breathing, will show exactly how that person reacts under stress. She then shows sufferers how to relax and avoid stressful events with breathing and meditation exercises.

Wahbeh: "So we can give them a questionnaire to see if their symptoms improve. But we want to be able to see how it’s changing their body, And so by knowing exactly how people with PTSD are different in their body, we can see if that changes from the intervention."

Wahbeh says she's having problems getting PTSD sufferers to study, because they don't want to put themselves through a stressful situation. But she hopes going public with her work, will encourage them to help.

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