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S24: Clinical Applications of Mind-body Medicine for Deployment Related Mental Health Consequences, Co-occurring Chronic Pain, and Traumatic Brain Injury

13:30 - 14:30, Orchid CD, Terrace Level

Marina Khusid (1) Maulik Purohit (2)

(1): Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, United States

(2): National Intrepid Center of Excellence: Intrepid Spirit One (NICoE ISO), United States


The prevalence of deployment related mental health conditions and traumatic brain injury (TBI) is high—with a reported 19% of service members (SM) having TBI and 18% with post-traumatic stress (PTS), hence being termed the signature injuries of this war. Per the Institute of Medicine report of 2014, 62% of service members with history of deployment have at least one mental health condition, and 49% of these SM have two or more distinct mental health diagnoses. High prevalence combined with complex chronic debilitating nature of post -deployment mental health conditions and TBI results in high long-term personal and societal costs, making the development of cost-effective self-management modalities of great public health importance.  


Traditional allopathic care of these diagnoses has had poor success rates, with many issues from using a symptom-based approach leading to  the  use of neurostimulants, psychotropics , narcotics resulting in polypharmacy and adverse events   Mind- body interventions, such as meditation, are safe,, affordable, portable, easy to learn and teach, and have increasing evidence of effectiveness as adjuncts to standard care.  These facts position mind-body medicine as a cost-effective self- management approach.


This presentation consists of two parts. Dr. Purohit will present the current evidence for mind-body medicine from both mechanistic and clinical perspectives, particularly targeting the specific neuro-anatomy related to these diagnoses such as the corpus callosum, cingulum bundle, and frontal cortex, related to psychological health TBI, chronic pain, and sleep disturbance.  He will also examine the role of mind-body medicine for resiliency and neuro-plasticity. Dr. Khusid will present neuroimaging studies and clinical trials of meditation effectiveness for PTSD, depression, and substance use disorder. She will further discuss potential role of meditation as a self-management strategy in treatment of psychological conditions, and future research directions.