A new method for distinguishing between mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could help doctors differentiate between the two conditions and provide better treatment to veterans. A research project presented at the annual Radiological Society of North America meeting showcased a new imaging test to determine if a veteran suffers from MTBI or PTSD.
While MTBI and PTSD are easy to differentiate on paper, the symptoms can be similar. The two conditions can go hand in hand, as many servicemembers who are in the proximity of explosions suffer both physical and mental trauma from the event.
Recently, a new type of brain scan has been used in veterans to analyze their pituitary glands. The team found that veterans with PTSD may actually suffer from hypopituitarism, a condition that causes the pituitary gland to produce abnormal amounts of hormones. Hormonal abnormalities can be the cause of mood swings and other emotional instability that may be mistaken for PTSD.
Researchers say this study paves the way for hormone therapy as a method for treating the PTSD-like symptoms that many veterans suffer. While there is no definitive cure or standard of treatment for PTSD, this could create a new standard of care for MTBI patients who are thought to also suffer from PTSD.
PTSD is a leading cause of veterans’ disability in recent Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Any veteran can be at risk of developing PTSD, even if he or she was never in a combat situation. If you believe a service-connected disability is impacting your life after service, contact Veterans Help Group ® for assistance and support for your veterans disability claim. Call today – 1-855-855-8992.