Study Finds Service Dogs Help Individuals with PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health disorder brought on by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic or terrifying event. This condition may last a few months or even years, with triggers unearthing traumatic memories and causing intense physical and emotional reactions.

To help manage the condition’s symptoms, patients are sometimes assigned a buddy dog to be their companion during their daily activities. For a long time, patients with post-traumatic stress disorder have argued that a buddy dog helped better their lives. However the lack of scientific evidence made it hard to substantiate these claims — until now.

A new study has found that individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder may gain benefit from having an assistance dog. The study is the first to provide concrete data evidence on the added value of a specially trained service dog. It was carried out by researchers at Radboud University and the Police Academy

For their study, the researchers compared the following groups: individuals who didn’t have PTSD and had a family dog; individuals with PTSD who had a family dog; and individuals with PTSD who had been assigned a service dog.

They then carried out tests measuring the brain activity of each individual, finding that the brain values of individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder shifted toward those of individuals who didn’t have PTSD if they had a buddy dog with them. The researchers noted that a family dog didn’t have the same effect.

Annika Smit, one member of the study’s research team, explained that the researchers discovered that service dogs gave their PTSD patients security and peace, and increased their confidence by normalizing their lives. Smit explained that while family dogs mainly offered warmth and comfort, service dogs did this in addition to waking individuals up when they experienced nightmares and blocking contact in situations with rising tensions.

The police had asked the researchers to find evidence backing patient claims on the benefits of having a service dog. This was after they had already conducted their own trial. In the police trial, about 60 former and current police employees who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder were assigned a buddy dog.

The police announced that based on the researchers’ findings, they would establish a policy on using service dogs. They also noted that certified assistance dogs were scarce, arguing that only individuals who had  finished their trauma treatment but still experienced residual damage were assigned these support animals. To address this scarcity issue, the police are looking into the possibility of training family dogs.

For patients for whom assistance dogs aren’t enough, entities such as Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO) are hard at work studying new pharmaceutical ingredients, including psilocybin, from which better medications can be developed to address the unmet clinical needs of patients with various mental indications.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/SILO

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