Mil Med 2020 01;185(Suppl 1):279-285
Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University Medical Center, PO Box 3813, 308 Research Drive, Durham, NC 27710.
Introduction: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop during the aftermath of traumatic events. Although many are impacted by several stressors, nearly 3.6% suffer from PTSD in the United States with higher incidence reported in military service personnel. Any injury to the blood-brain barrier can ignite an array of biological signaling molecules in the immune-privileged brain parenchyma, which can disrupt the synaptic neural network, resulting in altered behavior.
Materials And Methods: In this preliminary study, we compared 20 PTSD veterans with age-matched healthy veterans to identify plasma levels of brain-specific protein markers using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay/immunofluorometric sandwich assay for neurotrophic factors and neuropoietic cytokines, and catalytic activity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) by zymography.
Results: We observed an increased level of glial fibrillary acidic protein, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin 6, and MMP2 and MMP9 but decreased level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, nerve growth factor-beta, and negligible difference in astroglial marker S100 calcium-binding protein B compared to controls.
Conclusion: Identification of neural biomarkers is essential to understand the subclinical symptoms for the diagnosis PTSD, which may not be visible by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI/fMRI) and may take years to clinically manifest.