Panel calls for annual PTSD screening

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[July 16, 2012]  WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new report sought by Congress recommends that soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan be screened for post-traumatic stress disorder at least once a year and that federal agencies conduct more research to determine how well the various treatments are working.

Of the 2.6 million service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, it's estimated that up to 20 percent have symptoms of PTSD.

An Institute of Medicine review says federal agencies have increasingly dedicated more resources to screen and treat soldiers, but considerable gaps remain.

Barely more than half of those diagnosed with PTSD actually receive treatment, often because many soldiers worry that it could jeopardize their post-military careers.

Also, when soldiers do get care, they're not tracked to determine which treatments are successful in the long term.

[Associated Press; By KEVIN FREKING]

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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