DoD and VA treatment for PTSD and brain injury inadequate, Legion says

September 12, 2013

The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs provide “limited and inadequate” treatment for post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury , according to a new report issued by the American Legion.

(Photo: Robert Skidmore)
(Photo: Robert Skidmore)

The report, called “The War Within,” was based on two years of research by a Legion committee that visited military, VA and private medical facilities. It is being  distributed to members of Congress, the Obama administration and VA officials.

The Legion said in a statement Thursday that the two departments “have no well-defined approach to the treatment of TBI; providers are merely treating the symptoms.”

William Detweiler, the past national commander of the Legion who chaired the committee, said the departments have relied on traditional medical treatments for TBI and PTSD cases.

“They have not done a lot of research on alternative methods,” he said in the statement. “There’s no simple answer to what works as far as PTSD or TBI is concerned, but we found that the (DoD and VA) medical profession shied away from certain things which they considered to be alternative medicine.”

The report says the departments have not adequately researched treatments such as virtual reality therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and other alternative medicine therapies.

The report recommends that Congress provide  oversight and funding to VA and DoD for innovative TBI and PTSD research currently used in the private sector.

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