TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) was in Toledo Monday to announce a more than $3 million grant being awarded to the University of Toledo Medical Center to help improve the lives of those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
It's the largest grant the school has seen from the National Institute of Mental Health. It's a four and a half year grant that will go into studying the effects of early PTSD symptoms.
Nearly 8 million Americans suffer from PTSD in the U.S. any given year.
The competitive research grant was awarded to the university because of the research done by associate professor of psychiatry Dr. Xin Wang. His research has drawn attention of both national and international PTSD researchers.
"We try to first understand PTSD and other mental health problems after problem. And in future, we will try to study whether we can treat them in an early time to reduce their suffering," Dr. Xin Wang said.
The new research being funded by the $3.38 million grant will involve trauma patients who agree to be monitored for a year using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment only available at UTMC.
Kaptur says it's because of the cutting edge technology here that researchers are able to examine these brain alterations.
"To see where the soft tissues have either been damaged or where nerves have been impacted, so that we can see the stress related receptors, what's going on in this part of the brain, that is causing these conditions," said Kaptur.
Kaptur also points out that these issues are harder to bring up, because they are illnesses people cannot see.
"You can't see it, unless you are perceptive and can see the symptoms in a person. But, it's not like having a broken arm or a vision problem, it is much more difficult diagnostically," she said.
Kaptur says getting the proper attention brought to brain dysfunction has been one of the hardest fights of her political career, but that this is definitely a step in the right direction.