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September 2011




By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on September 8, 2011


Research scientists have found low levels of serotonin 1B levels in patients with a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the researchers, this is the first evidence of a potential drug target for the condition.


The study on biochemical changes within the brain associated with PTSD is published in Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals..


Alexander Neumeister, M.D. at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and colleagues collaborated with the Yale Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Center to evaluate 96 patients: 49 with PTSD; 20 who were exposed to trauma but did not have PTSD; and 27 healthy adults.


All patients were injected with a tracer to provide a clear picture of levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin 1B. PET scans were then performed that produced advanced images of their brains.


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PTSD Risk May Depend on Genetics


By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on September 7, 2011


A new study suggests that in some cases, a particular genetic profile is associated with development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Researchers determined certain variants of a gene that helps regulate serotonin (a brain chemical related to mood), may serve as a useful predictor of risk for symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a trauma.


“One of the critical questions surrounding PTSD is why some individuals are at risk for developing the disorder following a trauma, while others appear to be relatively resilient,” said lead author Kerry J. Ressler, M.D., Ph.D.


“It is known that genetic heritability is one component of the differential risk for PTSD, but the mechanisms remain relatively unknown.”


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