As I said in my last post, after around 7 weeks without treatment, we called the VA. We wanted to start the home treatment right away, however Larry needed to go back to Dr. Naeser for another round of fMRI’s and testing first. I was really nervous about this step in the study. I knew he had regressed, I could tell by his behavior, and his black mood and I was sure the tests would prove me right. But I didn’t know if the home device we purchased would be effective at all. Would the miraculous results we had seen in the first 6 weeks of treatment return? No one knew.
When we reviewed the results of his weeks off, our worst fears were confirmed. All the tests and the fMRI showed he was almost back to where he began. The MRI was darker, his PTSD score was back up, and his level of depression had risen as well. It wasn’t just me who noticed behavior changes, the science confirmed it. Then Larry began using the home device 3 days a week for 20 minutes per day. I was scared when I didn’t see an immediate improvement in his mood and behavior. In fact, it took much longer this time to notice positive changes. However, by the 3rd week of home treatment it seemed like Larry was happier, less moody and by 6 weeks he was back! He has been using the home treatment consistently 3 days a week since then and I’m sure he will use it for the rest of his life. The results are just that dramatic.
When Dr. Naeser wrote the proposal for her study, she did not include a final fMRI or testing for Larry. Because it was part of the larger Vet study, there was no time left to rewrite it to include him and to get approval for it any way. This was extremely upsetting to Larry. He needed to know the final results, the documented proof that the home treatment worked or didn’t work. We both knew it had, we could tell by how happy and calm he was, but he needed the numbers. He began pestering Dr. Naeser to find the funding to quote “finish what we started.” She said it was impossible, that an amendment to the study would take hundreds of hours of writing and approval was not guaranteed. Larry is nothing if not persistent, and somehow Dr. Naeser found the money and got approval for the last round of testing. The day before we left Boston for home, Larry had his final fMRI.
Once we were back in California, Dr. Naeser emailed us the results of those final tests. These were even more remarkable than those after the initial 6 weeks of treatment. After almost 8 weeks off treatment, the test results showed that Larry had regressed almost back to where he began, but after 12 weeks of home treatment the results were, frankly, unbelievable. His PTSD scores improved even more than after the initial 6 weeks of therapy and he was once again at the zero depression level. Tests of verbal recall, executive function, reaction time and inhibition exceeded his first post treatment results. Larry was doing better after almost 3 months of treatment with a home device than he was after the first 6 weeks using the equipment at the VA.
How was this even possible? There is currently no way to absolutely diagnose CTE in the living. There is no cure, no magic pill, no operation or therapy. But somehow we found the VA, somehow we found a treatment that works and it has made all the difference in the world to us. Now others may argue that there is no know of knowing for sure that Larry even has CTE. That doesn’t matter to me. The person he became, paranoid, suspicious, anxious, agitated and annoyed is gone. I have my husband back. We rarely argue, he doesn’t obsess about trivial things, and suicidal thoughts no longer cloud his mind. He is the happy, calm, peaceful, logical man I married almost 47 years ago. Call it brain damage from football or CTE, whatever you want. All I know is that “light” has given us our lives back.
- To learn more about the device we used for home treatment, go to http://www.vielight.com
- We receive no compensation from the sale of these devices.