But, veterans with a PTSD diagnosis but not on any medication are also needed to complete the initial study by Draper Laboratories in Cambridge and Tampa’s University of South Florida.
Draper researchers are trying to find a more reliable way to diagnose PTSD by measuring physiological responses like heart rate, perspiration and respiration.
David O’Dowd, a program manager with Draper, said preliminary findings show that people with PTSD react differently to stimuli than those without the anxiety disorder.
“One of things I felt was interesting is the sound of helicopters,” O’Dowd said. “The control group was much more responsive to that than either of the combat trauma – with or without the PTSD. They were like ‘oh, yeah, yeah, yeah,’ and other people were like ‘Oh! What’s that?’”
O’Dowd said finding the final few participants has been slow because the criteria has limited which combat veterans qualify.
“The group we’re looking for that has PTSD, they can’t be on medications and that’s been the real Bah-Boom,” O’Dowd said. “That’s kind of hard. So, we’re trying to start with people who are younger and more newly diagnosed.”
Draper is reaching out to new veteran college students among others. To learn more on whether you qualify and how to participate in the research study, you can contact Draper Laboratories at USF at 813/465-5482. Leave a message and some will contact you said Ashley Vincent, a Draper researcher at USF.