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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Search is On for Objective, Biological Test for PTSD

From Marine Times:

Rather than argue over whether a 15-minute survey can determine if service members suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, researchers are trying to find biological ways to make the diagnosis. “We’re looking for an objective, independent, biological marker,” said Dr. Charles Marmar, who directs the PTSD facility for the San Francisco Office of Veterans Affairs, told the House defense appropriations subcommittee Friday.

The best bet so far is using brain imaging to look for areas of the brain with unusual activity, he said. ... A physical test could change the stigma of mental health issues. If a brain image could show PTSD, the illness is no longer invisible: The test could make the diagnosis objective because it would not depend on a service member explaining why he’s sick.

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