POLITICAL OUTLOOKKnight Introduces Veterans Legislation to Help those Service Members Suffering from Mental Trauma
Posted on: 06/29/2016 00:00
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) introduced a bill on Tuesday that would help veterans recover from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST), chronic pain, and opiate addiction.
The No Hero Left Untreated Act would establish a pilot program with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) based on a promising new neurological treatment. Magnetic eResonance Therapy technology, or MeRT technology, is a therapy used to treat PTSD, TBI, MST, chronic pain, and opiate addiction pioneered by an interdisciplinary clinic based in Southern California called the Brain Treatment Center. Knight’s bill would require the Secretary of the VA to establish one-year pilot programs on MeRT technology at up to five VA facilities and to report back to the Veterans Affairs Committee on the pilot program’s outcomes.
“Too many of our nation’s veterans continue to suffer from the invisible wounds of war. We can honor those who have served by making the right investments in innovative and proven medical treatments like MeRT technology,” said Paul W. (Buddy) Bucha, a Vietnam War Veteran and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. “I am grateful to Congressman Knight’s leadership, as the No Hero Left Untreated Act is exactly what our nation’s veterans need and deserve.”
The Brain Treatment Center, an affiliate of the USC Center for Neurorestoration, has utilized MeRT technology to treat over 400 veterans through a series of open-label trials and placebo-controlled, double-blind studies. Thus far, 98% of veteran PTSD/TBI patients have responded positively to this treatment option – averaging a 61% reduction in symptom severity as measured by the PTSD Check List – Military (PCL-M) assessment and demonstrated by measureable EEG/EKG changes.
Notably, responses to this treatment option have been durable and dramatic, with the average treatment length lasting only four weeks. Common benefits include better sleep, reduced pain, increased relaxation, and improved mental clarity and memory. According to Charles Liu, the Director of the USC Center for Neurorestoration, “MeRT technology is the only patient-specific, non-pharmaceutical, non-invasive neuromodulation strategy of which I am aware that has the potential to dramatically alter the prospects of our veterans in this way.”
“Our veterans risked everything to protect our country and our values, and we owe them a tremendous debt,” said Rep. Knight. “We have an opportunity today to support and expand on promising technology that could bring relief to our heroes, and I am proud to be part of the effort to move forward with providing the best treatment for our veterans.”
Knight introduced The No Hero Left Untreated Act on Tuesday morning. It is supported by a broad coalition of veterans service organizations including the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, and Blue Star Families. The bill currently awaits assignment to committee.