Could a Shot of Local Anesthetic Block PTSD's Harmful Effects?

By Julie Havlak

June 20, 2017

INJOIf injected into a cluster of nerves located in the neck, just a few milliliters of local anesthetic might be enough to block the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The shot, called stellate ganglion block (SGB), could transform the lives of the 20 percent of veterans coming back from war with PTSD, as well as civilians who suffer from post-traumatic stress.

The military is spending $2 million to test whether SGB is actually effective as a treatment for PTSD, in the first large-scale randomized control research study.

The anesthetic inhibits the excess nerve growth responsible for triggering chronic stress. Theoretically, this reboots the fight or flight instinct and potentially blocks the symptoms of PTSD, co-principal investigator Kristine Rae Olmsted of RTI International told Independent Journal Review.

The anecdotal evidence in favor of SGB is compelling. When the shot is effective, patients report improvement in less than 30 minutes. Some soldiers have such faith in SGB that they call it the “God block,” said Dr. Eugene Lipov, who pioneered the SGB treatment for PTSD and has used it to treat over 500 patients.

Read the full story on

Photo: Getty Images

Chat About Could a Shot of Local Anesthetic Block PTSD's Harmful Effects?

For You