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Medical News & Perspectives
Quick Uptakes
September 25, 2019

First Biomarker-Based Screening Tool for PTSD

JAMA. 2019;322(15):1437. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.15339

A new biomarker panel that screens for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) accurately differentiated combat-exposed US veterans with and without the condition in a study recently published in Molecular Psychiatry. If approved by regulators, the panel could be the first objective screening test for PTSD—or any psychiatric condition.

A PTSD diagnosis is based on self-reported symptoms. Many in the armed services underreport their symptoms because of stigma around mental health conditions, while a minority overreport them to avoid further active duty or to receive financial compensation, according to Charles Marmar, MD, the study’s senior author and chair of the department of psychiatry at the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine. A biomarker panel would give clinicians a more objective initial screening tool for PTSD.

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