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Health Watch

Health Watch

New technology has helped soldiers returning from iraq and afghanistan heal from the physical wounds of war.

Now doctors are trying to find out if high tech therapy can treat the psychological scars.

Doctor mallika marshall has more in tonight's healthwatch ten report.

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in iraq patrick campbell served as a solider and medic.... Seeing up close

what bombs and bullets can do to the body.<

(vo)(washington, dc)<

he came home but his mind kept traveling back (gfx)to the war zone.<

it was post trumatic stress disorder or p-t-s-d.... A condition that creates

more than just nightmares.<

<

(sot- patrick campbell/iraqi war veteran)<

"i got into two fights within a month of being home. I started lying, being

extremely selfish to the point where i even alienated some of my best

friends."<

(standup: dr. Mallika marshall/cbs news/boston, ma)<

now patrick is far from alone.<

it's estimated at least one in five returning troops suffer from p-t-s-d or

other psychological problems.<

traditiional therapy helps..... But scientists think new technology may

provide something better.<

weill cornell psychologist joann difede (duh-fee-dee) is experimenting with

virtual reality.<

this is not a soldier.... We've asked a volunteer to show us how it works.<

as he walks through virtual baghdad the doctor adds explosions and gun fire.<

why?<

(sot-joann difede/weill cornell med. Ctr.)<

"we re trying to get the person to no longer have fear associated with the

experience."<

the virtual world would allow a soldier to re-live the experience in a safe

environment... Almost re-recording the memory.<

(sot-joann difede/weill cornell med. Ctr.)<

"we are testing the idea that this will be better in the sense that it will

take fewer treatment sessions."<

while not as high tech traditional therapy is helping patrick.<

(sot- patrick campbell/iraqi war veteran)<

"talking about these things openly is the best thing i've done for myself<

soon testing will tell if this virtual world provides a faster road to

recovery.<

doctor mallika marshall, cbs news.

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