A year after Kalamazoo shooting, scientists come up with drug to prevent PTSD

A year after Kalamazoo shooting, scientists come up with drug to prevent PTSD

Though it has been more than a year since the shootout at Kalamazoo, Michigan, the effects on the survivors, first responders, and families of the victims, continue to manifest in the form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

On Feb. 20, 2016, a shooter had opened fire at three locations in and around Kalamazoo, claiming six lives and seriously injuring two others. The suspect, 46-year-old Jason Dalton, an Uber driver, who still awaits his trial, told the investigators how a devil manifested in his Uber app and controlled his body, and how the app made different sounds to tell him whom he should kill.

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, a panel of medical experts studying brains shared their thoughts at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. As per the researchers, PTSD may be in our genes, specifically the COMT (Catechol-O-methyltransferase) gene. Further, compared to the individuals who have the Val/Val variant of the gene, individuals with the Met/Met variant of the gene are much less likely to develop PTSD.

According to Dr. Thomas Hyde, the chief medical officer at Lieber Institute for Brain Development, it is possible to make people with the Val/Val more like the Met/Met gene variant. The Lieber Institute is working on developing a drug that when taken once a day can dramatically decrease the likelihood of a person to have PTSD. As per Dr. Hyde, it is transformational and it is what personalize medicine is all about. The drug is expected to be available in the next four years.

Dealing with loss

While the Lieber Institute is working on developing the drug that may help prevent PTSD in trauma victims, the family of two men who lost their lives in the shooting is still working on healing. At the time of the alleged shooting, Rich Smith (53) and Tyler Smith (17) were at a car dealership when a gunman ambushed, fatally shot them, and fled. Though it has been a year since the deadly shootout, the family that now consists of Emily Lemmer and her mother Laurie Smith still feel like they are living in a fog. For Laurie, it has been really hard losing a child and a soul mate.

Though many times people want to avoid talking about it, as per Dr. Theodore Wright, a clinical psychologist at the Battle Creek, Virginia (VA), the best way to deal with PTSD is to talk about it. He feels that to give one’s brain a chance to adjust and realize that the trauma is over, one needs to engage with what one is trying to avoid. He adds that the vigils held for the victims of the Kalamazoo shooting are a good way to battle PTSD.

Road to recovery

PTSD can happen to anyone regardless of age. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “PTSD is a disorder that develops in some individuals who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation.”

Though devastating, PTSD is treatable. Just like any other mental illness, PTSD does not just change a person’s behavior but it also brains. Sovereign Health offers its patients neurofeedback treatment. A promising new technique, neurofeedback helps patients struggling with PTSD, addiction, and other forms of mental illnesses.

At Sovereign Health, we provide state-of-the-art and evidence-based treatment for PTSD along with other mental health disorders. In addition, our brain wellness program helps promote wellness and prevent relapse. Contact the Sovereign Health to know about our various mental health treatment programs. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online with our representatives to know about our finest mental health facilities in Los Angeles and mental health facilities in California.

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