Target: Dr. Charles Marmar, chairman of the psychiatry department at NYU Medical
Goal: Support and celebrate Dr Marmar’s work to research brain health in post-traumatic stress disorder patients to provide better mental health care to veterans and trauma victims
Over the past decade, about half a million veterans have received diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI). While numbers of PTSD/TBI remain high, health care for traumatized veterans remains uninspiring at best. For example, a veteran who experiences headaches and/or sleeping issues many years after war will be diagnosed with what his or her doctor guesses is the cause. Often it is PTSD, TBI or both, but treatment plans are prescribed simply on a guess.
Dr. Charles Marmar of New York University Langhorne Medical center is leading a research project to better understand the physiological markers of mental health issues, including PTSD, TBI and depression, with the hopes of creating a more comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. In a recent New York Times article Dr Marmar said, “We want to elevate mental health to standard physical health.” He also stated the goal of this project is to “go beyond subjective reports.” The thesis of the study is to find the biomarkers of mental disorders like PTSD. Biomarkers are physiological signs that doctors use as a platform to diagnose and treat patients. Without clear-cut markers for PTSD, TBI or depression, misdiagnoses are common and treatment success is difficult to assess. In addition, diagnoses are formed on self-reported symptoms, which can lead to fraudulent claims for disability benefits.
Using genetic research and advanced brain imaging, those conducting this five-year study will hopefully better understand the structure and function of the nervous system to provide more comprehensive mental health care. Veterans, rape victims and war survivors will all have the opportunity for more thoughtful diagnoses and comprehensive treatments. Mental health is a serious but unfortunately often overlooked and misdiagnosed area of health care. Dr. Marmar’s study will develop a diverse understanding and treatment plan for mental health patients.
Sign this petition to support and commend Dr. Marmar on his work for the mental health sector and veteran care.
Dear Dr. Charles Marmar,
This letter is to commend your important work and research to assist the half million veterans dealing with post traumatic stress disorder and/or traumatic brain injury in America today. In addition to helping veterans, those with depression, childhood trauma and even insomnia will have physiological markers to help define their treatment plans. Furthermore, doctors will have greater capability to assess comprehensive treatment plans and monitor mental biomarkers to figure success rates.
While gun control has become a hot topic of discussion in America, mental health is only beginning to be talked about in connection to gun violence. Hopefully, by the end of your impressive research project, medical professionals will have a better idea of how to diagnose and provide treatment plans to their patients and a discussion of mental health will become mainstream. Thank you for your great work.
[Your Name Here]