Source: University of Arizona News 

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Gretchen Evans, who lost her hearing and sustained a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan, struggled to adapt to civilian life. A service dog named Aura helped her regain confidence and independence. University of Arizona researchers have found that service dogs significantly reduce PTSD symptoms in veterans, lower anxiety and depression, and improve quality of life.

A study involving 156 veterans showed those with service dogs had 66% lower odds of a PTSD diagnosis after three months. Despite challenges, such as funding and legislative gaps, the benefits of service dogs are evident. The OHAIRE research group is planning a clinical trial to assess how service dogs enhance the effectiveness of prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD. Researchers aim to improve access and integration of service dogs into PTSD treatment, hoping to alleviate symptoms and increase therapy retention for veterans.

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