Study Tests Power of Adding Stellate Ganglion Block to PTSD Therapy

Randomized clinical trial to combine SGB with Prolonged Exposure

In the effort to improve PTSD treatment outcomes for military members and veterans, the combination of existing evidence-based talk-therapy and promising pharmacological interventions holds great potential.

A recently completed pilot study by our group showed some of the best outcomes to date when a stellate ganglion block (SGB; an injection of anesthetic to a group of nerves in the side of the throat) was administered in combination with two weeks of daily treatment with Prolonged Exposure (PE), a leading PTSD therapy. Researchers believe this may be due to SGB-related reductions in patient anxiety during PE sessions that in turn increased their ability to process traumatic memories as part of PE.

Now the STRONG STAR Consortium at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is further evaluating this therapy combination in a large-scale randomized clinical trial with active duty and retired military personnel.

Participants in San Antonio and Killeen, Texas, will be randomly assigned to receive SGB or a placebo saline injection in addition to 10 sessions of PE delivered in a massed format (once daily, 90-minute PE session over 2 weeks). There is no charge for participation.

Are you a military service member or retiree experiencing any of these symptoms?

  • Feeling jumpy or always on edge
  • Upsetting or distressing memories, nightmares, or flashbacks
  • Loss of interest in regular activities
  • Mood swings or irritability
  • Desire to avoid trauma reminders
  • Sleep difficulties

If so, this may be a great option for you. To inquire about participation, call 210-562-6726 or use the Get Treatment Contact Form to send us a private message.

Young black military woman attending therapy session with female psychiatrist, african american soldier lady wearing uniform sitting on couch and explaining her problems to psychotherapist
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