Virtual Therapy for PTSD

By Nesita Kwan
|  Wednesday, Feb 4, 2009  |  Updated 8:50 AM PDT
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Virtual Therapy for PTSD

A Chicago area hospital has unveiled a new virtual reality program designed to help American military personnel with post traumatic stress disorder, or P.T.S.D.

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Virtual Therapy for PTSD

Using virtual reality to treat PTSD
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A Chicago area hospital has unveiled a new virtual reality program designed to help American military personnel with post traumatic stress disorder, or P.T.S.D.

The program uses video-game type graphics to depict war-zone attacks and explosions in Iraq.  

Neuroscientist Jeffrey Lewine will use the virtual reality program as part of a research project at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village, Ill.

"Virtual reality simulation is used as something called exposure therapy," says Lewine. "So, the idea is that as individuals come through the program, they get virtual reality, they get behavioral assessments, they get psychiatric assessments and all that information is then pooled to guide individuals to the treatment that we think is most effective."

The V.A. program was developed by the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies and is also being researched by the U.S. military at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California.

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