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Ground Breaking Research

What do you think of when someone mentions PTSD? Do you see a soldier not able to remove himself from the horrors of war? Or could you picture that same person performing daring feats, competitive games, and taking risks of another sort? 

That transformation is being made possible by changes in the way the medical and psychological fields see PTSD. Let me explain.

After a study examining the brains of postmortem, blast-exposed military veterans and finding  'Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in Blast-Exposed Military Veterans' (click to read the study); we have a greater understanding of how we can help Veterans heal. Any level of traumatic brain injury can cause pituitary gland damage that results in hormone deficiency. We also know that hormones are a key factor in the way we interpret our world. . 
From a physiological standpoint, Ranger Road programs increase the brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) which is proving to counteract the effects of brain injuries. Below are studies/articles from leaders in the fields of endocrinology and psychiatry that support our approach.

TBI and Hormonal Defeciency

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is now recognized as a causative factor for hormonal deficiencies associated with personality changes based upon changes in the molecular chemistry of the brain. Psychological, physiological, and physical manifestations like; depression, anxiety, mood swings, bouts of anger, memory loss, inability to concentrate, learning disabilities, sleep deprivation, increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, loss of libido, menstrual irregularities, pre-mature menopause, obesity, loss of lean body mass, muscular weakness, and a number of other medical conditions can all arise subsequent to head trauma.

Micro Predictions and PTSD

The brain's guesses are compromised. It's not guessing very well and it's not updating its guesses based on new learning, so it's trapped in an old model. And as a consequence, people who suffer from PTSD are reliving experiences that are not driven by what's around them in the moment. They are really transported to another time and place and reliving that experience. Part of the problem is that plasticity in a brain that is suffering from PTSD is compromised, meaning that day-to-day new learning, which is subtly changing the wiring of the brain, is not really happening.

BDNF and Cognitive Improvement

Emerging findings suggest that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) serves widespread roles in regulating energy homeostasis by controlling patterns of feeding and physical activity, and by modulating glucose metabolism in peripheral tissues. BDNF mediates beneficial effects of energetic challenges such as vigorous exercise and fasting on cognition, mood, cardiovascular function and peripheral metabolism. By stimulating glucose transport and mitochondrial biogenesis BDNF bolsters cellular bioenergetics and protects neurons against injury and disease. By acting in the brain and periphery, BDNF increases insulin sensitivity and parasympathetic tone. Genetic factors, a ‘couch potato’ lifestyle and chronic stress impair BDNF signaling, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome. Novel BDNF-focused interventions are being developed for obesity, diabetes and neurological disorders.

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Ranger Road is supported through your donations and grants. 100% of the proceeds goes to our veterans. Without our community's involvement and support, Ranger Road would not be able to carry out its mission of helping veterans through their transition from military to civilian life. 

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