Consortium Hopes to Develop New PTSD Diagnosis Methods

Draper Laboratories (a non-profit spin-off of MIT), has put together a new consortium of some of the nation’s top scientists hoping to develop an objective means of diagnosing PTSD. The group hopes to make PTSD diagnosis possible using medical techniques like blood tests or brain scans, rather than self-reported symptoms.

Researchers include top-notch experts from Harvard, Boston University, Mount Sinai Hospital and several VA Medical Centers. The study is estimated to cost approximately $50 million and is currently in the final planning stages. The consortium also hopes to secure some funding with military research dollars.

The Pentagon is already funding plenty of research on PTSD, including pharmaceuticals that target fear response and tests to pin down PTSD biomarkers.

Currently, PTSD is diagnosed through clinical interviews. The scope of the group’s efforts are to improve diagnostic tools and treatment outcomes using objective, clinical decision-making by using sophisticated algorithms to integrate data from a spectrum of biomarkers including neuroimaging, psychophysiology, chemical assays, and gene expression. The resulting PTSD diagnosis and treatment recommendations will be more objective and personalized, complementing the primarily subjective methods of evaluation and treatment.


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