PHILADELPHIA, March 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- PTSD treatments can cost up to $7,000 a year, but a group of NET-trained practitioners treated patients effectively and quickly for a fraction of the cost. People often experience symptoms of PTSD such as anxiety, stress, and fear from traumatic life events. Physician researchers (funded by the ONE Research Foundation) conducted a study on Neuro Emotional Technique (NET), a mind-body therapy, at The Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University. The study found NET effectively and rapidly reduced symptoms of traumatic stress events in patients who had experienced life-threatening medical issues.
"The results of this study were really quite dramatic," said principal investigator Daniel Monti, M.D., MBA, and Director of the Marcus Institute. "In just four to five brief sessions, patients who received NET reported much less distress, their overall emotional state improved significantly and the way their brains reacted to stress cues normalized."
The study focused on 23 patients who experienced traumatic stress symptoms that lasted for at least six months as a result of distressing cancer-related events. A select number of patients received NET and the rest were waitlisted to a control group.
The treatment group received a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) while listening to the self reported story of their distressing memory before and after NET. After receiving NET, the treated patients saw reduced stimulation in a number of brain structures associated with the perception of emotional traumas.
As an example, the parahippocampus is known to be activated by various types of traumatic stress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder in war veterans and victims of sexual assault. In the image attached, the parahippocampus is no longer active after the patient had received NET (right).
"This is the first study, that our team is aware of, that assessed the combined neurophysiological and clinical effects of an intervention for traumatic stress symptoms, and most importantly, offers a demonstrable solution," Dr. Monti said.
Study participant Elizabeth Koniz, a breast cancer survivor, described high anxiety prior to receiving NET. "I was fairly skeptical and [now] feel like I am living proof this works," she said.
Researchers attribute the success of the intervention to the combination of exposure techniques with nervous system feedback, which uniquely allows therapists to gauge the patient's subjective distress and how the body is reacting to it.
"This provides extra information that is not usually part of standard interventions and, potentially, is what makes NET an especially efficient and efficacious therapeutic solution for traumatic stress symptoms," Dr. Monti said.
Citation: Monti, D.A., Tobia, A., Stoner, M. et al. "Neuro emotional technique effects on brain physiology in cancer patients with traumatic stress symptoms: preliminary findings." J Cancer Surviv (2017). doi:10.1007/s11764-017-0601-8. Cushman Jr., John H. (2012, February 24). New Study Gives Scope and Cost of Combat-Related Conditions Among Veterans. Retrieved from http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-ptsd-costs-families-2014-04-04
This study was fully funded by the ONE Research Foundation.
Contact: Sean Podvent
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SOURCE ONE Research Foundation