VR program may help soldiers avoid PTS

June 22, 2006

A virtual reality program unveiled this week during a University of Haifa conference may help U.S. soldiers in Iraq avoid mental trauma.

"Among the syndromes the soldiers suffer from are depression, low self-image, flashbacks, and thoughts of loss," said Professor Albert Rizzo of the University of Southern California, one of the program's developers. He says early treatment aided by the VR tool can lessen the psychological damage.

The VR program helps a soldier experience fighting through a number of sensors. The soldier, explains Rizzo, puts on goggles that include earphones and sees and hears battlefield activity.

The special goggles also measure heart rate, blood oxygen level, and other medical indices relevant to a person's mental state.

"There are already a number of soldiers who returned from Iraq suffering from battle fatigue and trauma who are being treated by the VR program," Rizzo said. He estimates by the end of the year, some 200 soldiers will have used the new system.

It was the fact that one in three soldiers returning from Iraq suffers from some mental disorder that led to the development of the virtual reality battlefield for rehabilitation purposes.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Protective hearing tech in the Army: Not too loud and not too soft

Related Stories

Protective hearing tech in the Army: Not too loud and not too soft

June 7, 2016
(Tech Xplore)—Soldiers' ears have had a tough challenge. Historically, soldiers have had to choose between hearing protection and force protection. In other words, maintaining situational awareness was not in line with ...

Study: Rates of PTSD among Afghanistan, Iraq soldiers dramatically lower than predicted

May 17, 2012
A decade after the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, studies have shown that the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among troops is surprisingly low, and a Harvard researcher credits the drop, in ...

In Iraq war, a revolution in battlefield medicine

December 11, 2011
The Iraq war ushered in dramatic advances in battlefield medicine, with the effects of homemade bombs leading the US military to radically change how it treats wounded soldiers.

Researchers working to better treat soldiers

November 12, 2013
Auburn University and military researchers are studying the structures and activity of the brains of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in an effort to better understand post-traumatic stress disorder and post-concussion ...

UK study says violence more likely among vets, troops

March 15, 2013
Young men who have served in the British military are about three times more likely than civilians to have committed a violent offense, researchers reported Friday in a study that explores the roots of such behavior.

Yoga, deep breathing used to treat soldiers' stress

August 27, 2012
Rich Low dreamed of Iraq long after he returned home from the war.

Recommended for you

Superagers' brains offer clues for sharp memory in old age

February 22, 2018
It's pretty extraordinary for people in their 80s and 90s to keep the same sharp memory as someone several decades younger, and now scientists are peeking into the brains of these "superagers" to uncover their secret.

Nolan film 'Memento' reveals how the brain remembers and interprets events from clues

February 22, 2018
Key repeating moments in the film give viewers the information they need to understand the storyline. The scenes cause identical reactions in the viewer's brain. The results deepen our understanding of how the brain functions, ...

Antidepressants are more effective than placebo at treating acute depression in adults, concludes study

February 22, 2018
Meta-analysis of 522 trials includes the largest amount of unpublished data to date, and finds that antidepressants are more effective than placebo for short-term treatment of acute depression in adults.

Instead of nagging your spouse to lose weight, try going on a diet yourself

February 22, 2018
Tired of nagging your spouse to lose a few pounds? You might get better results by going on a diet yourself.

'Beetroot pill' could help save patients from kidney failure after heart X-ray

February 22, 2018
Beetroot may reduce the risk of kidney failure in patients having a heart x-ray, according to research led by Queen Mary University of London.

Separate brain systems cooperate during learning, study finds

February 21, 2018
A new study by Brown University researchers shows that two different brain systems work cooperatively as people learn.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.