Military Medical Study Compares Depression Patients for Improved Treatment

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013  |  Updated 1:18 AM EDT
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Military Medical Study Compares Depression Treatments

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jeff Ebert wears a virtual-reality headset and holds a video-game-type controller Friday, June 29, 2007 as he demonstrates an experimental virtual-reality computer simulation at Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis, Wash. that psychologists plan to begin using in the future to treat soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Ebert, of Toledo, Ohio, does not have PTSD, but knows its effects from his service as a behavioral health specialist on active duty in Iraq.

The U.S. military's flagship medical center is evaluating a technology that could produce more effective anti-depression treatment for service members and veterans.

The California-based company CNS Response Inc. said Friday that Walter Reed National Military Medical Center will use its PEER Interactive technology in a study of 2,000 patients suffering from depression.

The technology enables doctors to compare a patient's brain scan with those of others in an online registry. The company says doctors can then make better treatment decisions based on the outcomes of other patients.

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland says the technology could help determine whether there's a relationship between increased use of anti-depressants and increased suicide rates among service members and veterans.

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