WASHINGTON - A consortium led by the Department of Veterans Affairs’
(VA) National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has
launched the first brain tissue biorepository (also known as a “brain
bank”) – to support research on the causes, progression and treatment of
PTSD affecting Veterans.
The national brain bank will follow the health of enrolled participants
during their lifetime. Participants in the brain bank will donate their
brain and other body tissue after their death. The donated tissue,
along with each Veteran’s health information, will provide crucial
information for use in research on PTSD and related disorders.
“Although we have learned a great deal about abnormalities in brain
structure and function from brain imaging research, there is no
substitute for looking at the neurons themselves,” said consortium
director Dr. Matthew Friedman. “Understanding the cellular and circuit
contributions to abnormal brain activity in PTSD is critical in the
search for potential biomarkers of susceptibility, illness and treatment
response and for developing new treatments targeting the conditions at
the cellular level.”
Dr. Friedman also is the founder of the national brain bank, and former
Executive Director and current Senior Advisor to the National Center
for PTSD. The national brain bank will investigate the impact of stress,
trauma and PTSD on brain tissue in order to advance the scientific
knowledge of PTSD, particularly the identification of PTSD biomarkers.
Participating sites are located at VA medical centers in Boston,
Massachusetts, San Antonio, Texas, West Haven, Connecticut, and White
River Junction, Vermont, along with the Uniformed Services University of
Health Sciences at Bethesda, Maryland (USUHS).
PTSD is a significant mental health concern among Veterans. In 2013,
533,720 Veterans with primary or secondary diagnosis of PTSD received
treatment at VA medical centers and clinics. PTSD is a serious mental
disorder resulting from exposure to direct or indirect threat of death,
serious injury or physical violence, including sexual violence.
The national brain bank is seeking Veterans with PTSD to participate in
research about PTSD that affects Veterans. Veterans without PTSD are
also eligible to participate in the brain bank because it is important
to study Veterans without PTSD to compare the impact of stress, trauma
and PTSD on brain tissue. Veterans interested in learning more about
enrolling in the brain bank are encouraged to call its toll-free number
1-800-762-6609 or visit its website http://www.research.va.gov/programs/tissue_banking/PTSD/default.cfm
SEE ALSO http://time.com/3759627/unlocking-the-secrets-of-ptsd/