Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are now opting for a treatment colloquially known as “brain zapping” to help alleviate their symptoms.
The new procedure — which The Brain Treatment Center in Newport Beach, California, offers free of charges to veterans — uses magnetic resonance therapy (MRT), pulsing energy from magnetic coils into a patient’s cortex.
“I was calm and present and centered for the first time. I was actually able to hear people speaking and my mind wasn’t racing,” former Army staff sergeant Jonathan Warren told The Washington Post of his experience with MRT therapy, the newspaper reported Monday.
The treatment has spread by word of mouth through veteran communities. Although the procedure is still in its early stages, it is receiving rave reviews from the veterans who have opted to try it.
“It saved my life,” one told The Post.
MRT therapy was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2008. While it still is in its nascent stages, the Brain Treatment Center’s medical director is impressed with the results his team is seeing.
“We are not claiming efficacy, but we are seeing clinical responses that are positive,” Yi Jin told The Post, added that his treatment is customized to each individual patient by adjusting MRT pulses to the neurons firing in his or her brain.
More than 100 veterans have received the treatment since 2013.
“One hundred percent responded with very visible change,” Mr. Jin told The Post.
The Department of Veterans Affairs launched controlled clinical trials of the procedure in October, which may pave the way for veterans to have immediate access to MRT therapy.