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RTI Awarded DoD Cooperative Agreements to Expand Research on Groundbreaking Treatment for PTSD

RTI International is expanding research on managing non-pain disorders through two military-funded awards, one supporting a cohort study of Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) for Treating Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the other a secondary analysis of original trial data.

The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC), a Department of Defense (DoD) initiative, awarded RTI $4.5 million to answer long-term questions about SGB for the treatment of PTSD.

The cohort study builds off an eight-week clinical trial by RTI, also funded by the U.S. Army, that showed the effectiveness of SGB for treating PTSD symptoms. Results indicated that SGB is successful in relieving symptoms and is a new treatment option for people suffering from PTSD. The original study marked a breakthrough for treating PTSD, but the invaluable data collected from the study left additional, crucial questions to be answered. RTI will conduct secondary analyses of data from the original study to answer these questions.

RTI experts will lead a cohort study following Service members and Veterans among five military hospitals for a year. Eligible patients for the study will be receiving SGB treatments for a non-pain condition, such as PTSD or other anxiety disorders, but the cause of trauma does not have to be military-related.

RTI will collect treatment data from consenting participants and analyze this information over time. The cohort study will facilitate a deeper understanding of how many injections patients typically require to achieve lasting relief from PTSD symptoms, as well as evaluate the duration of effect and potential risks of multiple treatments.

Kristine Rae Olmsted, the study’s primary investigator and a research epidemiologist at RTI, says “This study will expand on our findings from our original randomized controlled trial to help answer critical questions to ensure that our nations Service members and Veterans with PTSD receive the best care.”

RTI is dedicated to improving the human condition, especially the lives of those who serve in the military. The cohort study, beginning in 2021, will help our team continue to answer crucial questions about SGB use, and symptom trajectory over time, making SGB treatments more efficient for those suffering from PTSD in the future.

Learn more about RTI’s work in behavioral health.