The objective of this proposal is to discover and validate protein biomarkers for of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma. The rationale for this proposal is that validated biomarkers for PTSD may be useful for identifying surrogate endpoints for PTSD therapy or as targets for PTSD-specific drug development.
Our approach has been to analyze CSF and parallel plasma samples from several hundred well-annotated PTSD patients, using large-scale, highly sensitive antibody microarrays as a proteomic discovery platform. We also plan to validate the candidate biomarkers with reverse capture protein microarrays and mass spectrometry.
Our hypothesis is that biomarkers for PTSD, possibly including those associated with depression, might be found in the CSF from well-annotated PTSD patients. The prevalence (PTSD) may be as high as 10% in the adult American population, and PTSD may affect an even higher proportion of soldiers who have had multiple combat tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
The applicability of this proposal is that there is no objective way to diagnose PTSD or to know when possible therapeutic strategies are working. If successful, knowledge of authenticated biomarkers for PTSD will solve this problem. A consumer-related outcome is projected within 5 years.