Technology & Innovation for the
Prevention & Treatment of PTSD


War is perhaps one of the most challenging situations that a human being can experience. The physical, emotional, cognitive and psychological demands of a combat deployment place enormous stress on even the best-prepared military service members. Since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) in Afghanistan and Iraq, approximately 2.5 million troops have been deployed. Between the unique nature of these conflicts, their duration and the common occurrence of multiple deployments, a significant number of returning service members have developed or are at risk for developing a range of behavioral health conditions. The urgency of this healthcare challenge, has driven the DoD and VA systems to accelerate research, development and application of novel and innovative approaches for clinical research and dissemination of care. This conference is meant to provide an overview of some exciting new directions being pursued to address the many unmet needs surrounding trauma-related disorders. The program will begin with an overview of the scope of the challenges that face veterans exposed to trauma. This will be followed by a number of speakers detailing the evolution and current use of prolonged exposure therapy. Innovations of this evidence based therapy including the use of virtual reality technology and cognitive enhancers to further improve outcomes will be discussed. This will be complemented by a basic science perspective on fear extinction learning, a process that underlies prolonged exposure, as well as a discussion of laboratory approaches to assessing this type of learning in humans. The remainder of the program will review some new pharmacological and psychotherapy approaches. The use of virtual environments, mobile apps and “virtual agents” that can all aid in promoting stress resilience, health coaching and treatment engagement will also be discussed. Participants will have the opportunity to experience demos of many of the technologies discussed at the conclusion of the program. One of the clinical “game changing” outcomes of the OIF/OEF conflicts could derive from the military’s support for new research and development in these areas that could potentially drive increased recognition and adoption within the civilian sector. As we have seen throughout history, innovations that emerge in military healthcare driven by the urgency of war, typically have a lasting influence on civilian healthcare long after the last shot is fired.

USC Institute for Creative Technologies
12015 East Waterfront Dr.
Playa Vista, CA 90094

October 31, 2012, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

There is a discounted ICT rate at the Doubletree. The hotel is about 10 mins from LAX.
The best two ways to get the negotiated USC rate at the Doubletree are
1) Call Sergio Guerrero, the reservations manager, directly at (310)348-4569.
2) Use the one-click reservation system linked to USC ICT’s corporate code.
View all nearby hotels.

Conference Chairs
Christopher Reist, MD, Long Beach VA Medical Center
Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD, USC Institute for Creative Technologies

Organizing Committee
Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD, USC Institute for Creative Technologies
Richard DiNinni, USC Institute for Creative Technologies
Christopher Reist, MD, VA Long Beach Healthcare System, VISN 22 MIRECC
James Lohr, MD, Director, VA CESAMH

USC Institute for Creative Technologies
VISN22 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC)
VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health (CESAMH)