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San Antonio Researcher Honored By White House For PTSD Work With Military

San Antonio researcher Dr. Stacy Young-McCaughan is one of ten women honored at the White House today for her research into post traumatic stress disorder in soldiers.

Young-McCaughan is a retired Army colonel and now a professor at the UT Health Science Center School of Medicine in San Antonio. She serves as research director for the STRONG STAR Consortium, which seeks to understand, prevent and treat combat-related PTSD.

Dr. Alan Peterson, chief of behavioral medicine and director of STRONG STAR, said Young-McCaughan's ongoing research utilizes exercise intervention among PTSD veterans; specifically while they are thinking about the details of their traumatic event.

"Exercise is a way of allowing them to kind of target the 'fight or flight' reaction,"Peterson said. "In other words, when people are thinking about the trauma, if they're able to exercise they can use up the surge of adrenalin that comes from the focusing on the memories and use that in a positive manner."

Peterson said Young-McCaughan’s project was recently featured in "Runners World" magazine. To date, over 1,000 service members and veterans have been recruited into clinical trials for treatment of combat-related PTSD.

During Women’s History Month, the White House is highlighting the contributions of women veterans to the nation’s business, public service and community sectors.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.