ORLANDO, Fla. -- A UCF clinic that developed a program that uses virtual reality to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans and first responders has been awarded a $10 million grant from the U.S. Army.
- UCF RESTORES developed program to treat PTSD with VR
- US Army has awarded developers $10 million grant
- Money to be used to study effectiveness at 3 US military facilities
- PREVIOUSLY: UCF PTSD clinic gets $3 million in federal funds, eyes expansion
Dr. Deborah Beidel, who leads the UCF RESTORES clinic, and her team developed a compressed, three-week program to treat PTSD through virtual reality and exposure therapy.
According to a UCF news release, the U.S. Army awarded the grant so it can study the effectiveness of the RESTORES program at three military medical centers: the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Georgia, the Naval Medical Hospital Portsmouth in Virginia and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
The Army study will put the RESTORES treatment program at the facilities to see whether it's an effective alternative treatment for PTSD.
Beidel said her team hope to determine whether the program is more effective with active-duty troops or military veterans. They'll also study whether it could help military victims of sexual assault.
"I'm excited and overwhelmed. It's a lot of work that has to be done now," Beidel said.
The clinic was established in 2011 on UCF’s main campus and has since treated 300 veterans and active-duty personnel, first responders and Pulse survivors experiencing PTSD. It has worked with the city of Orlando and Orange County, and members of Beidel's team traveled to Parkland.
Spectrum News 13 Reporter Julie Gargotta contributed to this story.