Understanding TBI through Blood-Based Biomarkers

More than 360,000 armed service members sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during combat and training between 2000 and 2016. Veterans with TBI often require healthcare for years after the initial injury. Therefore, having a way to aid in the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of TBI is very important. There are blood tests that can detect whether TBI has occurred, but these tests cannot provide details about TBI symptoms. CESAMH Associate Director of Neuroscience, Dr. Victoria Risbrough, and her collaborator Dr. Robert Rissman were awarded a $1.4 million VA Merit Grant to investigate new biomarkers from blood samples that may provide helpful information about TBI symptoms. They will study “exosomes,” which are vesicles (pouches containing proteins and genetic material, such as RNA) that are released from most types of cells, including brain cells. Exosomes can be used to understand the health of brain cells. Exosomes are readily detectable in blood and are promising tools for aiding diagnosis of disorders associated with nerve cell damage. Results of this study may help improve the detection and treatment for deployment-related TBI.

PTSD Research Quarterly: PTSD & Accelerated Aging

For hundreds of years, scientists have recognized that the human body is highly sensitive to the external environment. In the mid-1800s, Claude Bernard, who is credited with being among the first to develop and apply scientific methods of experimentation to the study…

Is PTSD Associated with Earlier Aging?

Most people think that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is only a mental health issue. However, there is evidence to show that PTSD is associated with earlier onset of age-related medical illnesses, higher risk of decline in thinking skills such as memory or problem solving, and earlier death. Researchers are now investigating the possibility that PTSD is speeding up the aging process.