CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A leader at the Medical University of South Carolina is set to speak to U.S. lawmakers in Washington D.C. about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the need for research.

“It is absolutely critical to educate our decision-makers in Congress about the importance of funding research,” said Dr. Lori McMahon.

Dr. McMahon is the Vice President for Research at MUSC. Next week, she will represent both MUSC and the Society for Neuroscience on Capitol Hill as the moderator of the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus Briefing, where PTSD will be the focus.  

“So, this panel of experts will discuss changes in the brain that we understand, about current treatments, and the need for additional research in this area,” Dr. McMahon told News 2.

Dr. McMahon said there are many examples of traumas that can trigger changes in the brain, such as the death of a loved one, a car crash, and war. In fact, she said veterans have a higher incidence of PTSD compared to the general population.

“So, it’s very important for us to make sure this population of individuals has access to care and has access to care easily, on a regular basis, and has the care that’s going to help them overcome this really detrimental impact that affects all aspects of their lives,” Dr. McMahon explained.

Advances in PTSD research have helped experts better understand what parts of the brain are most directly impacted. MUSC is making strides of its own through its National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center and the Brain Stimulation Lab, led by Dr. Mark George.

None of it would be possible without proper funding.

“Without research and discovery, we will never improve how we take care of patients,” the MUSC VP said.

According to Dr. McMahon, about one in 11 people will experience PTSD at some point in their life.