Armed Forces News

The House is considering a measure that would provide access to new therapies that would help mitigate the effects of mental trauma. Introduced by Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif., H.R. 1162 calls for the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a one-year pilot program that would offer EEG/EKG-guided resonance therapy, also known as Magnetic eResonance Therapy. The procedure entails using magnetic stimulation to restore proper brain function.

Trials have shown that the therapy has proven to be effective in treating more than 400 veterans who suffer from conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST), chronic pain, and addiction to opiates. One such test, conducted during a four-week period at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., showed that the procedure had positive results among veterans suffering from PTSD.
Several veterans’ service organizations — including AMVETS, Veterans Advantage PBC, Patriot Project, and the Veterans House Council, have voiced support of the measure.

“Magnetic EEG/EKG-guided resonance therapy has successfully treated more than 400 veterans,” said Joseph R. Chenelly, a former Marine who now serves as AMVETS’ executive director. “This small pilot would be instructive to VA in understanding the benefits and deciding whether to offer this promising therapy to those receiving VA health care.”

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that if passed, the bill would allow for treatment of no more than 50 veterans in as many as two VA treatment facilities. The cost for initial assessment for each patient would be $1,000, with the price for at least 20 sessions during a one-month span amounting to $22,000.

The measure cleared the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on May 17, and is headed for the House floor. It has 54 sponsors from both parties.