Women Veterans & PTSD Project

The Women Veterans & PTSD Project was created to identify objective biomarkers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and resilience in women veterans using neuroimaging and genotyping.

Background: A large number of women veterans have developed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of exposure to interpersonal, combat, or combat-support related traumatic events during their time in the service. However, the majority of women veterans will not experience any significant mental health problems despite exposure to potentially traumatic events. Factors that distinguish women in these two distinct trajectories are not well-understood.

Methods: Women veterans with and without PTSD will be asked to complete diagnostic interviews and a brief, noninvasive assessment of brain function known as magnetoencephalography. They will also be asked to provide a blood sample for genetic analyses.

Expected Outcomes: The results of this study will improve knowledge on the pathophysiology of PTSD and resilience. Furthermore, identification of an objective indicator of PTSD will ultimately enhance veterans’ health and treatment by improving diagnoses and providing an objective biologically-based indicator to track treatment outcomes for those suffering from this devastating illness.

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Updated March 25, 2016