As you can glean from research and news reports, life in the Army is tough. Aside from waging war against enemies on foreign territories, the Army is also fighting an internal battle as suicide rates reach its highest ever in history. According to Pentagon reports, one member of the Army commits suicide every day–but that’s about to change, by way of nasal spray.
The US Army has recently given $3 million to the Indiana University School of Medicine to create an anti-suicide spray to be administered via the nasal passages. Researchers have come across a neurochemical called thyrotropin-releasing hormone, or TRH, that is said to have a calming, anti-depressant effect on the user. Typically, these drugs are delivered through a spinal tap procedure to inject the medication, since pills and regular injections don’t allow it to enter the brain.
Aside from depression, TRH can also help people push past suicidal thoughts as well as help them overcome bipolar disorder. The researchers working on the project add that the applications of the technology go beyond anti-depression medication–so you can just imagine the possibilities that their work has just unlocked.
The spray was only made possible thanks to ”nanotechnology delivery systems” advances made in recent years. The scientists are scheduling trials for the next couple of years to test out the spray, which might eventually find appropriate uses in the civilian sector aside from just the military.