Simple blood test may screen for THIS mental health condition

PTSD affects the military/Shutterstock Images

Health professionals may soon be able to screen patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through a normal blood test, according to Euronews.

In a recent study, which involved over 1,000 active-duty military service members in the United States, researchers say they’ve identified four biomarkers (medical signs that can be accurately measured) that display specific patterns in those who are suffering (or face a high risk of) post-traumatic stress disorder.

For this research, blood samples were taken from service members before a 10-month deployment, three days after their return and three to six months after their return.

The individuals were classed by researchers as having PTSD, sub-threshold PTSD or no PTSD based on their clinical diagnosis and symptoms.

PTSD is on the spectrum of anxiety disorders that develops in some people who have experienced an extremely distressing, stressful, or frightening event.

People with PTSD often “relive” the traumatic event through flashbacks and nightmares. They may also have ongoing issues with sleep or concentration, memory loss, negative thoughts, irritability and guilt.

“Improved methods of screening and predicting PTSD could inform better treatment approaches by providing a deeper understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms of the disorder,” Stacy-Ann Miller, a researcher at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, said in a statement.

“This could lead to the development of more targeted and effective treatments for PTSD or to identify specific subtypes of PTSD, which may respond differently to different treatments”.

The study constitutes the largest one of its kind to research the biological markers of PTSD over time, according to the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

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