The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun using light-emitting diode (LED) and stellate ganglion block (SGB) therapies to help treat veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The used of LED therapy among veterans with a history of mild or moderate TBI has begun at the VA Boston Healthcare System, Jamaica Plain campus. It is also available for veterans to use in their homes.

The therapy is contained in a lightweight frame that is placed on the head, with a clip placed inside the nose. Results of some studies suggest that LED improves brain function, including attention and memory, emotions, and sleep, according to a media release from the VA.

Providers at the Long Beach VA Medical Center have begun using stellate ganglion block (SGB) to treat veterans with PTSD symptoms. It consists of an injection, or shot, of medication into the neck to decrease the symptoms of PTSD.

“We know that for a small group of veterans, a traditional approach to health care may not be the most effective,” says VA Secretary Dr David J. Shulkin, the release continues.

“This is particularly true with certain chronic medical and mental health conditions. For veterans who don’t improve, we have to look for innovative, evidence-based approaches that may help them restore and maintain their health and well-being,” he adds.

[US Department of Veterans Affairs]