SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Mark Bratton's service in Iraq and Afghanistan was a time of great pride, but also great stress.
"I wanted to lead Marines. I wanted to be in the fight. Day to day to day, every single day, it was like they were trying to blow us up," said Mark Bratton.
He returned home with PTSD. It affected everything from how he lived to how he slept
"Not wanting to be around large crowds of people, have a lot of anxiety about things that were happening around me. I was dating somebody at the time and I had choked her in her sleep," Bratton explained.
There is no cure for PTSD, but a new drug called TNX 102 SL, a new formulation of the muscle relaxant Flexeril, is now being tested to treat it.
"It not only helped sleep, it not only helped anxiety, it helped with arousal symptoms, it helped with negative thoughts and emotions," explained Dr. Harry Croft, a psychiatrist and chief of CNS research at Clinical Trials of Texas Inc.
Croft said TNX 102 SL is taken sublingually, or under the tongue, and not metabolized through the gastrointestinal system. It's the metabolic breakdown that causes side-effects that sometimes makes PTSD seem worse. This new delivery may eliminate that issue.
"It's exciting that at least we're looking into something that has promise," Croft said.
Bratton was in the trial study.
"I started feeling better about myself, feeling that I could accomplish things, feeling that I can move forward in life," he said.
There are still two more phase-three trials for TNX 102 SL, and hopes are high.
"Yes, this would be a big deal," Croft said.
The phase-three trial starts in 2017. Once they are completed, the FDA still has to approve TNX 102 SL as a PTSD treatment. It could be up to three years before it's available to the public.
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