Charles R. Marmar, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health, has spent his career studying post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which has symptoms such as sleep disruption and vivid flashbacks of the traumatic experience. PTSD is often associated with war, but many people don’t realize that an estimated 85 percent of cases result from sexual violence, a car accident, or the violent death of a friend or family member.
The ultimate goal is to find more effective, personalized treatment for patients. “We don’t have yet robust treatments that will reliably bring a person back to who they were before they were traumatized,” Dr. Marmar tells The Wall Street Journal.
He’s hopeful about coming progress, in part thanks to the brain imaging techniques that were once the province of neurology and neuroscience. “Psychiatry was never considered serious because it didn’t have an organ,” adds Dr. Marmar. “Now psychiatry has an organ—it’s called the human brain.”
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