NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) – The Vietnam War lingers in the minds of many who fought in Southeast Asia.
Gary Cooley was a medic with the Marines.
He says, “I had to go on patrols with them at night, I had to sit in ambushes with them at night.”
Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have set in over the years.
He explains, “One time we had a limb fall on the trailer. I ran out and grabbed my pistol and ran outside. And that was pretty scary for the both of us. Another time I strangled her, half asleep.”
His wife, Sue, a former Navy air traffic controller, recalls what happened next.
“I was able to scream or fight him a bit,” she says, “And it woke him up and he realized what had happened.”
Recurring dreams, easily startled and anxiety, among the signs of PTSD.
Especially hard hit — our military.
Now, there’s The Honor Study, a nationwide clinical study underway, just for veterans.
A principal investigator, Dr. Max Okasha is in Norwich, Conn.
The focus is on this drug, first approved as a muscle relaxant. Given at a lower dose it could lead to improved sleep.
“Yes, restorative sleep,” says Dr. Okasha.
Which could ease other traits of PTSD.
Dr. Okasha says, “It works on certain receptors, some of the receptors, helps sleep, then decrease the anxiety.”
Gary’s personal battle against PTSD is improving, but he is not eligible for the study.
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The Cooleys are sharing their story to encourage those who are – to take advantage of the opportunity.
Sue says, “If it helps somebody who is thinking about suicide because of PTSD, or ‘I can’t walk outside of my house any more because of PTSD.’ Please call, do something to get some help.”
Gary is not eligible because the study is for veterans with PTSD since 2001.
It’s a double blind, placebo-controlled trial, meaning participants may or may not get the drug. But participants have the option to continue in an open label trial, so they can get the medication.
For more information, contact the CT Study Coordinator Sarah Mooney at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.TheHonorStudy.com.