Blood Test Could Help Identify PTSD

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious mental health condition that can have a severe effect on someone’s life. PTSD is often found in military veterans who have experienced the stress of wartime conditions. However, sometimes, veterans and other individuals attempt to hide or mask the symptoms of PTSD due to the stigma of mental health issues. This can make it difficult to obtain an appropriate diagnosis. Now a new blood test may help identify biomarkers that point to a diagnosis of PTSD.

Quicker Diagnosis

Thanks to a new blood test researched by the Army in conjunction with the New York University School of Medicine, doctors may be able to diagnose PTSD quickly and more accurately. Rather than an extensive and complex psychological test, a simple blood analysis could provide the necessary diagnosis. A study published in Molecular Psychiatry identified 27 blood markers that could be used to identify PTSD. These findings help support past hypotheses that asserted that PTSD affects not just the brain but the body as well.

The blood markers will be further refined before the test is commercially available. Researchers hope that the blood test will allow, not only for a more accurate diagnosis but for an early diagnosis, which leads to earlier treatment and better outcomes for patients. The test could even potentially identify PTSD before symptoms have manifested. The blood test could also be used to help overcome the fact that many symptoms of PTSD are difficult to identify or are hidden by sufferers due to the stigma associated with the condition.

Limits on the Study

The study, which took six years of work, tracked blood samples from 165 veterans, half of whom had PTSD following war-zone deployments. There are some important limits to the blood marker study. No women were included among the test subjects for the blood test. In addition, only military veterans and no civilians were included in the study. The creation of a simple and effective blood test will require further more comprehensive testing and could still be years away.

If you or a loved one has a mental disability and has been arrested or convicted of a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Elizabeth Kelley specializes in representing individuals with mental disabilities. To schedule a consultation call (509) 991-7058.

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