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Subject: Molecular Secrets of Special Forces toughness (Article)
GOP    4/24/2006 12:09:20 AM
Molecular secret of Special Forces toughness 11:06 18 February 2003 NewScientist.com news service Shaoni Bhattacharya, Denver Special Forces soldiers have neurological differences that make them more resilient to post-traumatic stress disorder than the average soldier, say researchers. A study of soldiers based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, found that Green Berets were much less likely to suffer symptoms of PTSD after a week of gruelling exercises that simulated being captured and interrogated by the enemy. The elite soldiers produced more of a molecule called neuropeptide Y in their blood than regular soldiers. This molecule is generated by the body to help calm the brain in times of extreme stress, says Matt Friedmann, director of the US National Center for PTSD in Connecticut, which carried out the research. "The Special Forces types had a greater capacity for mobilising neuropeptide Y than ordinary soldiers, and they were also able to sustain it for longer periods," he told a session on PTSD at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual conference in Denver, Colorado. Furthermore, neuropeptide Y in Special Forces personnel returned to normal levels within 24 hours, whereas it dipped below normal in the others. Bottle it The greater the capacity to mobilise neuropeptide Y, the lower the likelihood of PTSD, says Friedmann. "If we could bottle this, or if we could train people to mobilise their own neuropeptide Y, that would be primary prevention for PTSD - a very exciting approach," he says. Although the work has been going on for several years, the researchers are still uncertain whether the Green Berets' enhanced capacity to endure trauma was genetic or had been acquired through Special Forces training. Another study discussed in the conference session revealed the extent of PTSD in the general population, following the terrorist attacks of September 11. The new work by researchers from the New York Academy of Medicine shows that 7.5 per cent of New Yorkers had PTSD symptoms in the 30 days after the attack, but that this dropped to 0.6 per cent nine months after. The study also showed those people who lost a family member or friend were just as likely as those who did not to recover from PTSD. The researchers found that age, employment status and life stressors were more important factors in determining recovery. ----------------------------------------------- Is this true? Do you honestly have to be physically/mentally 'Special' to be a operator?
 
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Horsesoldier    RE:Molecular Secrets of Special Forces toughness (Article)   4/25/2006 8:17:08 AM
>>Is this true? Do you honestly have to be physically/mentally 'Special' to be a operator?<< Well, yes, but if you mean do you have to be born with some certain specific genetic trait or something . . . no. If the "neuropeptide Y" is relevant, I would tend to suspect that the explanation that increased levels are a by product of SOF training is more likely than an increased level of it is some trait you are born with. I'm wondering if the SERE exercise they mentioned was part of the SERE course guys go through or something additional some researcher managed to convince SOCOM/USASOC/USASFC to subject some guys (volunteers I'd hope) to. If the guys in question had already done SERE school, one might suspect their increased immunity to the effects of the training simply reflected their familiarity with the subject matter . . .
 
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roadveteran    RE:Molecular Secrets of Special Forces toughness (Article)   5/1/2006 8:58:25 PM
That and the fact that the typical SF man is at least a few years older than the typical infantry recruit. He has made it through his training and taken it in stride, is slightly better educated than his non-SF counterparts.
 
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Tiber1    RE:Molecular Secrets of Special Forces toughness (Article)   5/5/2006 6:30:56 PM
I don't see why if might not be true? Certain people are just better at things then others. A pro basketball or football player has definite physiological and by definition genetic differences then me. Could I train myself to be good at either sport? Sure, to a certain degree, but someone who is ?gifted? will have a much easier chance. I?ve met a lot of SF types over the years. There is a difference between them and the normal person sitting in a office building. Yes, some of it comes from training, their environment, age, etc, but I would not be surprised at all to see that they have a genetic pre-disposition to neuropeptide. Doesn?t mean you have to have it and that some of this might not come from training, but imho I?d guess that having this gives you that much of a stronger chance to endure the training and selection process. Either way, I'm sure which ever way is true, as soon as they figure out the chemical properties and how to replicate them, they will be added to MRE's! Eat up boy's, we got a war coming!
 
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longrifle    RE:Molecular Secrets of Special Forces toughness (Article)   5/6/2006 11:53:14 PM
If there's anything to it Col. Aaron Bank must have had a double dose. He was in his late thirties when he was commissioned; was 42 when he parachuted into France with a Jedburgh team; and was 101 when he died. The Wikipedia article about him states that he still swam "several miles" daily, in the Pacific Ocean, when he was in his eighties! Eat your heart out John Wayne!
 
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GOP    RE:Molecular Secrets of Special Forces toughness (Article)   5/6/2006 11:58:11 PM
>>If there's anything to it Col. Aaron Bank must have had a double dose. He was in his late thirties when he was commissioned; was 42 when he parachuted into France with a Jedburgh team; and was 101 when he died. The Wikipedia article about him states that he still swam "several miles" daily, in the Pacific Ocean, when he was in his eighties! Eat your heart out John Wayne!<< Now that is unbelievable! I would love to be in that kind of shape when I am in my 80's, and it is possible if I stay active and take care of myself (although I am sure being an operator might take it's toll, especially on the legs)...although it is unlikely. I don't think John Wayne could swim "Several miles" in his prime.
 
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