Research Investigates Biological Markers for PTSD

14 Feb 2013

When a person suffers from Alzheimer's disease, the body secretes abnormal levels of proteins that act as biological signals to provide information about the condition. Similar such chemical changes can also be found when a person suffers from a heart attack. However, there are no such biological markers or biomarkers that can help doctors understand the intensity of a traumatic brain injury, or identify the existence of post-traumatic stress disorder.

New research is aiming to change that. A number of studies are now focusing on discovering biomarkers or physiological signs that can inform doctors about whether a person suffers from a brain injury or post traumatic stress disorder.

Currently, there is a lack of biological biomarkers for mild traumatic brain injury as well as post traumatic stress disorder. In the lack of such biomarkers, there is no standardized test that can be administered to patients who are suspected of suffering from a mild brain injury, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Current research that is going on at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland is investigating biomarkers for post traumatic stress disorder. This is a massive study, and involves about 1,500 subjects. The study is being funded by a $70 million grant by the Steven A and Alexander M Cohen Foundation.
The point is to use these biomarkers to develop a simple, affordable and convenient test for post traumatic stress disorder as well as brain injury. Ultimately, the aim is to develop a simple and convenient test that can be used just like a standardized home pregnancy test.

That kind of progress is a long way off, but California veterans benefits lawyers will await the conclusions of such research eagerly.