The National Center strives to serve the needs of Veterans with PTSD through improving patient care. Because the Center is not a clinical program, our strategy for doing so involves the development and dissemination of tools, programs, and information for clinicians, researchers, administrators, and policy makers.
Through our consortium we have developed state-of-the-art assessment measures and treatments for clinicians to use to diagnose and treat patients with PTSD. Information is efficiently disseminated to clinicians though the Center's website and online trainings, publications, treatment manuals and assessment tools, and nationwide trainings and programs. Our website also provides patient education materials such as Understanding PTSD treatment and information for community members, and questions from the public are answered by phone and email.
The Center also improves patient care indirectly through its strong commitment to basic research. Our work has identified abnormalities in behavior, sleep, cognition, memory, physiological reactivity, hormonal regulation, as well as in brain structure and function associated with PTSD. A specialty of the Center is translating basic findings into clinically relevant techniques. For example, research showing increased adrenergic activation among Veterans with PTSD has led to clinical trials with anti-adrenergic medications. The Center is currently working to identify a biomarker for PTSD that would help in the identification of true cases of the disorder. Such a marker would be very useful for diagnosis, for monitoring treatment response, and for evaluating Veterans seeking service-connected disability status for military-related PTSD.