Can a Blood Test Predict PTSD?

December 6, 2018 by Renee Fischer

Research Could Help Connect Veterans to Treatment Faster

As many as 20 percent of U.S. soldiers have returned from the last two American wars with traumatic brain injuries. Following a brain injury, there is a release of proteins to help the healing process. As a Hopkins student, Geneva Foundation/Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar Tamar Rodney, PhD (Nurs ’18), examined how those proteins can serve as a predictor for post-traumatic stress disorder.


“What we’ve found is, for individuals who have PTSD, there’s a very high amount of proinflammatory proteins, even long after their traumatic brain injury,” she says.

Rodney’s research aims to create a simple blood test that could help diagnose individuals who have experienced a traumatic brain injury earlier and predict their risk of developing PTSD. The ultimate goal? To provide veterans with appropriate treatment.

“They offered to give their life for their country,” Rodney says. “Let’s say, ‘Now that you’re suffering, we can also take care of you.’ And we can do that through science and research.”

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