Psychotherapy plus ‘CogSMART’ being tested at San Diego VA

Dr. Amy Jak and research assistant Mark Sanderson-Cimino review the SMART-CPT protocols. (Photo by Kevin Walsh)

Dr. Amy Jak and research assistant Mark Sanderson-Cimino review the SMART-CPT protocols. (Photo by Kevin Walsh)

Researchers are combining an evidence-based PTSD treatment called cognitive processing therapy (CPT) with a relatively new approach to mTBI called Cognitive Symptom Management and Rehabilitation Therapy, or CogSMART for short.

Mild traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder—they are both known as “signature wounds” of the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact, among Veterans with mild TBI, at least 4 in 10 also have PTSD.

So addressing the two conditions together makes sense. That’s the premise behind an ongoing study at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. Researchers are combining an evidence-based PTSD treatment called cognitive processing therapy (CPT) with a relatively new approach to mTBI called Cognitive Symptom Management and Rehabilitation Therapy, or CogSMART for short.

“We have integrated components of CogSMART into CPT in order to address the unique challenges faced by Veterans with ongoing cognitive complaints related to PTSD and a history of mild TBI,” wrote the team, led by Dr. Amy Jak. They described their approach in a journal article published in November 2015.

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