New blood test could help diagnose veterans with PTSD

A new research study recently published from the Army (and other third-party experts) stated that physicians may one day be able to identify veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with a quick blood test instead of complex and lengthy psychological tests.

According to an article published by MilitaryTimes.com, “The study, which can be found in the Molecular Psychiatry journal, found a set of 27 blood markers which helped identify patients suffering from PTSD. Researchers said the findings support past hypotheses that the disorder “affects not just the brain, but the entire body.”  In a statement, Army Medical Research Systems Biology Chief Scientist Marti Jett said those markers “will continue to be refined and adapted for commercialization” in coming years. Researchers are hopeful blood tests can lead not only to more accurate diagnoses but also earlier ones, perhaps indicating signs of problems even before PTSD has fully manifested.”

According to Dr. Charles Marmar, senior study author and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine, this blood test could identify symptoms of PTSD that servicemen are not aware of or, in some cases, purposefully suppressing due to fear of the stigma that surrounds the diagnosis. In addition, it could also eliminate PTSD as a possible diagnosis for those with ambiguous and unclear medical conditions.

It is important to note that the research study did not include women veterans or civilians. Dr. Marmar stated that the creation of a simple and affordable PTSD diagnostic blood test for use across the board is likely still years away. However, the findings are still seen as a very important medical breakthrough for health experts looking for ways to more accurately track troops’ health, with the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs researchers estimated that as many as 25 percent of individuals who served in combat zones in Iraq or Afghanistan may suffer from PTSD.

To learn more about this important news affecting veterans, click HERE.