Biomarker reveals PTSD sufferers at risk of suicide
By Bill Hathaway
May 13, 2019
There are two FDA approved treatments for PTSD, both of which are anti-depressants. It can take weeks or months to determine whether they are effective. That can be too late for those who are suicidal, note the researchers.
Brains of individuals with PTSD and suicidal thoughts (top) show higher levels of mGluR5 compared to healthy controls (bottom).
The risk of suicide among individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is much higher than the general population, but identifying those individuals at greatest risk has been difficult. However, a team at Yale has discovered a biological marker linked to individuals with PTSD who are most likely to think about suicide, the researchers report May 13 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers used PET imaging to measure levels of metabotropic glutamatergic receptor 5 (mGluR5) — which has been implicated in anxiety and mood disorders — in individuals with PTSD and major depressive disorder. They found high levels of mGluR5 in the PTSD group with current suicidal thoughts. They found no such elevated levels in the PTSD group with no suicidal thoughts or in those with depression, with or without current suicidal thoughts.
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Wonder if they ever thought to study people who are healing PTSD instead?Can you imagine what that scan would look like or how much hope it would offer to people with PTSD to see that they could not just change their lives but actually change the way their brain works by filling it up with more hopeful thoughts?
Imagine if they took a scan of someone before they believed they were worthy of being forgiven and then one after they accepted the fact they were?
Why do researchers only track what is failing instead of tracking people who have managed to take control of their lives again?