Great Success for TBI & PTSD Recovery at Oklahoma’s Patriot Clinics!

Carol L Henricks, MD

 Public outrage was sparked by mistreatment of veterans at the Phoenix VA Hospital in Phoenix. Problems with medical care of veterans at VA Hospitals were discovered all over the country. We called out for change. We shouted that our military veterans are a priority, and their care is not a place for a budget spending cut. Veterans groups lobbied Congress in Washington, DC to demand change in the system from the top down. But who is walking the walk and actually providing services ?

The Patriot Clinics in Oklahoma are unique: they are a shining example of a real response to providing medical care to help treat our military veterans. Based on the scientific medical research of Dr. Paul Harch, the support of the IHMA (International Hyperbaric Medical Association) and the determination of Dr. William Duncan as well as testimonials by veterans who were successfully treated (Major Ben Richards) the lawmakers in the state of Oklahoma acted. The state Senators and members of the House of Representatives voted unanimously in support of SB1604 (The Oklahoma Veterans Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment and Recovery Act), and the governor signed it into law.

Patriot Clinics are focused on providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) at no cost to military veterans. Funding for the program is collected through private donations (for example they are doing crowdfunding on Indiegogo). State funds can be recovered through the Veteran Bureau Act of 1921. The clinic is able to treat 5,000 veterans a year with the most successful therapy available.   HBOT initiates brain healing and aids in quelling the symptoms of PTSD.

More good news? We learned yesterday that the great state of Texas has initiated a bill to promote the same treatment availability to veterans in Texas. The grass roots movement is succeeding. We the people are making a difference!

For more information, please see the website www.patriotclinics.com . If you are a veteran interested in treatment, Dr. Paul Harch still has availability in his study in New Orleans, LA: visit his site at www.HBOT.com

Advertisements

Combat Traumatic Brain Injuries Part of Veteran Suicide Trigger

22-Veterans-a-Day-memorial
Memorial to 22 veterans a day committing suicide seen in Tucson September 18 at HAV event in Armory Park and in many cities throughout the U. S.

by Carol L Henricks, MD

 It is Suicide Awareness Month and it is time to connect the dots and understand why the suicide rate is so high among our active duty military and military veterans. It is a consequence of the brain – blast injury (a form of TBI) they have sustained! Dr. Duncan, COO of Patriot Clinics, Inc. states that “Not since World War I have service members in a war theater been exposed to the level of blast injury that US service members have experienced in recent wars. “

A blast – brain injury has 2 mechanisms of injury to the brain: the concussive force of the blast and the decompression injury. You don’t need to hit your head or lose consciousness to be injured. Even one concussion brain injury is associated with an increased risk of depression and suicide – but military members are typically exposed to blast after blast after blast. Most of the military veterans I have seen in my office don’t even “count” the more distant blasts they experienced or view repeated blasts experienced in a single day as separate events. Every blast creates injury and the sooner after one injury you are exposed to more injury the worse the cumulative injury.

Blast – brain injury injures the whole brain. On a pathological level, the decompression injury causes ischemic lesions (like tiny strokes) all throughout the brain. When this occurs in an elderly person they are clinically diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia. The axonal shear component of injury is also a diffuse injury and disconnects the networks in the brain. The networks that perform basic processes such as the cycling between wakefulness and sleep are destroyed. Attention, concentration, short-term memory and executive function (planning) are lost. Emotional control is unstable and unpredictable. Life with a brain injury is a life that feels out of control. It is disorienting and confusing. This cognitive – emotional state triggers suicide. When a psychiatric diagnoses is made medication is prescribed resulting in clinical worsening.   Substance abuse also causes clinical worsening.

If you don’t diagnose and correctly treat brain injury, there will never be a successful treatment program. Medications do not heal the brain. This is a call – out to all military veterans: if you have been exposed to IED’s, RPG’s and other blasts and concussive forces, be evaluated with a SPECT brain scan, brain MRI – DTI (diffusion tensor imaging) or some other high level technology. Routine brain MRI scans (even with contrast) or head CT scans (even with contrast) are not able to “see” the injury. It is a limitation of technology, not proof that the TBI is not there.

There is treatment for this type of brain injury: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). The Patriot Clinics, Inc. of Oklahoma and the International Hyperbaric Medical Foundation have championed the cause to set up HBOT treatment facilities in every state. In Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State House, the Oklahoma State Senate and the Governor all signed a bill into law that would create a funding mechanism so that money would be available for their hyperbaric facility to treat all the military veterans in their state. The state of Oklahoma recognizes the connection between brain injury, PTS and suicide and the effective treatment. The goal is to have every state set–up a program for its military veterans so they can be treated at no charge.

Military traumatic brain injury and its consequences are at a crisis level. There are HBOT facilities, non – profit organizations and concerned citizens around the country that are prepared to come together and help insure that those who need it are treated. This is a grassroots movement and we the people must rise to the occasion. We must be heroes to our Heroes.

 

Carol L Henricks, MD

Behavioral Neurology, Epilepsy,Sleep Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury  & Hyperbaric Medicine.                     .

NorthStar Neurology PC…7596 N La Cholla Blvd…Tucson AZ 85741

Office Phone: 520-229-1238

Office FAX: 520-229-1242