PTSD linked to immune system response

Previous studies have aimed to uncover genetic markers of PTSD by investigating differences in gene expression between people with the disorder and those without it. But the team involved in this latest research decided to adopt a “systems-level approach,” which involved using whole transcriptome RNA sequencing on blood samples of US Marines with and without PTSD.

“By comparing US Marines who develop PTSD symptoms to those who do not, we can measure differences in genes, but also take into consideration the dynamic relationships between and among them, their connectivity,” explains senior author Michael S. Breen, of the University of Southampton in the UK.

“Because PTSD is thought to be such a complex disorder,” he adds, “measuring these dynamic relationships is crucial to better understanding the PTSD pathology.”