Great news for those with long-term chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. According to the LiveScience blog and NeuroSigma Technologies websites, Trigeminal Nerve Stipulation, (“TNS”) a form of TENS unit which targets brain function, has been proven to help people with long term PTSD. This treatment is gaining ground, and soon should be adapted by psychiatrists and pain management practitioners as a regular part of their treatments. The TNS should be approved by insurance carriers, since it offers a cost-effective solution for chronic PTSD suffers.
Veterans and military contractors, in particular, can greatly benefit from this medical benefit. Section 7 of the Defense Base Act make such treatment 100% payable by the insurance companies, if it is deemed medically necessary by the treating physician.
How Does TENS help with PTSD?
The TENS therapy works is as follows: While a patient sleeps, a 9-volt battery powers a small patch, which sends a low-level electrical current to nerves that run through the forehead. The nerves which are stimulated are those nerves which send electrical signals to particular parts of the brain, including the amygdala and the medial prefrontal cortex. These two important brain centers regulate mood, behavior and cognition, and have been strongly linked with PTSD.
Long terms studies have been the focus of recent research involving the TENS unit. Among study participants, an average of 30 years had passed since the traumatic events that had left them depressed, anxious, irritable, hypervigilant, unable to sleep well and prone to nightmares.
Participants where the TNS unit while sleeping, for eight hours per night. The TNS therapy may work best in conjunction with other traditional treatments, such as medications management, cognitive behavioral therapy and other counseling. Those participating in trial studies would then complete written questionnaires about the severity of their PTSD symptoms both before and after the TNS therapy.
The study found that the TNS treatment could relieve symptoms in this chronically and seriously ill suffers of PTSD. Some saw a complete cessation of their PTSD, while others were able to gain more day-to-day functioning.
Here at Kenneth G. Franconero, PLLC, we will fight to make sure that TNS therapy is available to our clients, where their treating physician orders such care. It should be up to the doctors, not insurance adjusters and their peer review committees, which medical treatments should or should not be authorized.