Israeli Researchers Attempt to “Inoculate” IDF Soldiers Against the Trauma of Battle

Scientists are working with Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to try a new treatment for PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is an anxiety disorder affecting soldiers after their traumatic experiences in war zones.

The research is geared toward finding new ways to help people control responses in certain areas of our brain believed to be impacted by trauma, according to a recent article. The treatment is able to be applied beforehand, in efforts to reduce the chance for developing PTSD later.

Currently, research is being done on more than two dozen healthy patients using software. The software allows researchers to give their studies feedback about their brains’ response to a variety of sound stimuli from various intensities in real time.

Researchers in Tel Aviv say this method of neurofeedback is geared toward teaching the individual how they can gradually change their reaction to traumatizing experiences.

The new method will eventually be tested on soldiers as a means of inoculation that can hopefully prevent them from battlefield PTSD in advance or at least in very close proximity to the event and immediately after the trauma.

In the cases where there simply won’t be time for advance treatment, the goal is making this intensive rehabilitative treatment available immediately after the traumatic event to prevent PTSD from taking over.

According to U.S. media reports in April, the Army has discovered about one in every four U.S. troops returning home from battle zones has PTSD, yet only 20 percent affected seek sufficient treatment for their disorder.

The Israeli research is being conducted alongside the IDF Medical Corps with U.S. Department of Defense Funding and is based on previous research found among IDF frontline paramedics.