Experimental blood-based biomarker panel may predict PTSD diagnosis

Experimental blood-based biomarker panel may predict PTSD diagnosis

Charles Marmar Using a novel blood-based biomarker panel, researchers detected warzone-related PTSD in male combat veterans with 81% accuracy and 77% specificity. Discovery of PTSD-related biological markers has potential to support accurate diagnosis and progress towards personalized treatment, Charles R. Marmar, MD , Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Psychiatry, chair of the department of psychiatry and director of the PTSD Research Program at New York University School of Medicine, and colleagues explained in Molecular Psychiatry . “By employing a systems biology framework, multi-omic datasets provide the ability to understand the underlying disease network-associated biological processes,” they wrote. “This approach has the potential to provide a more comprehensive characterization of illnesses, to track underlying biological dysregulation before clinical symptoms develop or worsen, to lead to the identification of improved diagnostic markers, and to allow for the discovery of novel targets for treatment.” To determine PTSD diagnostic biomarkers, the investigators tested more than 1 million molecular, cellular, physiological and clinical features from three cohorts of male veterans. They identified a set of 343 candidate biomarkers in a cohort of warzone-related PTSD cases and controls using data-driven methods — such as the Support Vector Machine with Recursive Feature Elimination — and hypothesis-driven approaches gathered from prior genetic studies. After reassessment, Marmar and colleagued narrowed the best set of biomarkers from 343 to 28, according to their ability to track changes to phenotype over time. These 28 biomarkers included features from DNA methylation, proteins, microRNAs, metabolites and other molecular and physiological measurements, according to the results. To validate their experimental blood-based biomarker panel, researchers applied it to an independent cohort that comprised 26 cases and 26 controls previously diagnosed using standard clinical questionnaires like the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale. They found that this tool predicted PTSD diagnosis with 81% accuracy, 85% sensitivity and […]

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