Organization working on new PTSD diagnosis method

The UCF RESTORES program is looking at how PTSD can be diagnosed through identifying blood patterns in the brain instead of psychiatric evaluations

By FireRescue1 Staff

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An organization that treats PTSD patients is studying a new way to diagnose the illness that involves taking a closer look at the brain.

WFTV reported that the UCF RESTORES program is looking into how doctors can diagnose PTSD through patterns of blood flow in the brain instead of solely relying on psychological evaluations.

The program’s director, Deborah Biedel, said other similar centers nationwide aren’t extending their programs to first responders like UCF RESTORES is, and she added that a lack of research on the issue might be the reason.

“I would say our program has expanded, but many people do not recognize how many traumatic events there are, and how many first responders are really having difficulty,” Biedel said.

A recent poll found that 84 percent of first responders experienced a traumatic experience on the job, 34 percent of whom were diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

“There's no VA for first responders,” Beidel said. “There's no place for them to go.”

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