What if your sensitivity to PTSD could be predicted?

Elizabeth Howe
October 21, 2019 - 12:27 pm
Combat

DVIDS

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Researchers have recently made significant steps forward in developing an objective test for identifying PTSD — but what if PTSD could be predicted? 

A study from the non-profit Little Orange Fish believes it has identified a breakthrough correlation between the immune system and stress affliction — a soldier's likelihood of suffering from PTSD could be predicted with a blood draw. 

Little Orange Fish is now collaborating with several other companies and organizations on the Inner Defense Research Initiative to expand this research. For some members of the team, the research serves a personal purpose. 

Joe Ng, founder and president of iXpressGenes, one of the collaborating companies, survived a 2011 shooting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Ng experienced the struggles of PTSD firsthand and wants to help others who do. 

"In honor of those who did not survive and those who did, but suffer terribly,” Dr. Ng said in a press release, “I want to find a path to resiliency. The immune system might be that path.”

The initiative is now looking for funding and volunteers with the hopes of expanding its participant pool to at least one thousand soldiers and first responders who have been exposed to trauma. 

“There is such promise in the science we’ve seen,” John Schmitt, Iraq war veteran, and collaborating microbiologist said. "We have built a powerful team of technical experts and innovators in the field, but we will need the support from the wider community to accelerate this work and really make a difference in lives.” 

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