UCF plays a big role in PTSD research
By KEVIN DERBY
At the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., announced that the Army was sending $1 million to the University of Central Florida (UCF) to help active duty personnel and veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Murphy, who worked in the Defense Department under then President George W. Bush, announced on Friday that the funds will be sent to UCF’s RESTORES Clinic to develop virtual reality programs to help those with PTSD.
“The RESTORES Clinic uses virtual reality to simulate a patient’s traumatic experience and to help reduce the anxiety the patient associates with that experience, a technique known as exposure therapy. The clinic will use this $1 million in funding—along with an additional $2 million in funding the clinic is expected to receive over the next two years—to develop its own enhanced virtual reality software that will further improve quality of care. The clinic currently utilizes software developed by a third party,” Murphy’s office noted.
“As a nation, we have a moral obligation to assist the brave men and women who are wounded—either physically or emotionally—as a result of their service to our country,” said Murphy, who sits on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee. “I am so proud to announce that the U.S. military continues to invest significantly in the RESTORES Clinic, which will enable the clinic to provide the highest level of care to our servicemembers, veterans, and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.”
“This funding will allow us to enhance and expand our efforts to provide servicemembers, veterans and first responders with the very best treatment, backed by the very best scientific research,” said Dr. Deborah Beidel, the director of the RESTORES Clinic, on Friday. “When completed, we believe that this cutting-edge software will optimize treatment for individuals who currently suffer from the debilitating effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Back in May, Murphy announced the Defense Department’s Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program sent $10 million to help the clinic run an exposure therapy veterans fro active duty personnel around the country.
Murphy is a top Republican target in November and will face state Rep. Mike Miller, R-Orlando, in one of the most closely watched congressional races in the Sunshine State.