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Brian Engdahl is a psychologist with the U of M Academic Health Center's Brain Sciences Center

U of M expert available to discuss veterans and PTSD

November 9, 2010

As we honor and celebrate those who have served our country this week during Veteran's Day, we must also remember that for some veterans, combat doesn’t end once they step off the battlefield. Many veterans return home suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This severe anxiety disorder usually stems from war, but also can result from exposure to any psychologically traumatic event. The disorder can manifest through flashbacks, recurring nightmares, anger or hyper-vigilance.

A University of Minnesota expert who can discuss veterans and PTSD is:

Brian Engdahl, a psychologist with the U of M Academic Health Center's Brain Sciences Center

In the past year, University of Minnesota and Minneapolis VA researchers have made major breakthroughs in both the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. First, they discovered a method to objectively and definitively diagnose the disease using a technique called Magnetoencephalography (MEG), a noninvasive measurement of magnetic fields in the brain. Then, they discovered where the disease is located -- a hyperactive area on the right side of the brain, thought to be responsible for the re-living of past experiences.

The ability to objectively diagnose PTSD through concrete evidence of neural activity, its impact and its manifestation, is the first step towards effectively helping those afflicted with this anxiety disorder.

Engdahl has been working with veterans and specifically researching PTSD for the past 30 years. He can speak about PTSD, how it impacts soldiers' lives, and about the promising studies University of Minnesota researchers are conducting that have great potential to help veterans recover.

To speak to Engdahl, contact Nick Hanson, U of M Academic Health Center, (612) 624-2449 or hans2853@umn.edu; or Jeff Falk, University News Service, (612) 626-1720 or jfalk@umn.edu.

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit www.unews.umn.edu. Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

Tags: Academic Health Center

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Expert Perspectives: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder