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RTI announces follow-up research to groundbreaking PTSD study

The new research will further evaluate stellate ganglion block as an effective treatment for people who experience posttraumatic stress disorder

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Researchers at RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, have announced follow-up research to the landmark 2019 study showing that a procedure called stellate ganglion block (SGB) is an effective treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The researchers will further evaluate consenting active-duty service members and Veterans over a period of one-year to study symptom trajectory of PTSD, anxiety and depression, neurocognitive functioning, sleep and other topics related to mental health.

“We concluded our last study with the newfound knowledge that SGB improves PTSD symptoms, but we were left with additional questions,” said Kristine Rae Olmsted, a research epidemiologist and the original study’s co-primary investigator. “This next phase aims to take a deeper dive into some of these questions.”

The first phase of the study, which was published in JAMA Psychiatry, evaluated the effectiveness of SGB in 113 active-duty service members over a period of eight weeks. Researchers found that at eight weeks after treatment, symptom relief was significantly better for patients who were administered SGB than for those who received a sham injection.

The next portion of the study will begin data collection in summer 2022 and will evaluate up to 300 service members and Veterans at four participating sites. Results are expected to be available to the public in the fall of 2025.

Learn more about stellate ganglion block research at RTI