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New study links inflammation in those with PTSD to changes in microRNA
Date:4/24/2014

With a new generation of military veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has become a prominent concern in American medical institutions and the culture at-large. Estimates indicate that as many as 35 percent of personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. New research from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine is shedding light on how PTSD is linked to other diseases in fundamental and surprising ways.

The rise in PTSD has implications beyond the impact of the psychiatric disorder and its immediate consequences, which include elevated suicide risk and inability to lead a normal life, that result in approximately $3 billion in lost productivity every year. Over time, these PTSD patients will continue to experience increased risks of a myriad of medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, fibromyalgia, musculoskeletal disorders and others, all of which share chronic inflammation as a common underlying cause.

The mechanisms that trigger PTSD, and that cause PTSD patients to suffer from higher rates of chronic-inflammation-related medical conditions remain unknown. Additionally, PTSD is incurable, and though there are available treatments, they are often not completely effective. In an effort to get to the root of PTSD, and begin to understand the links between PTSD and the secondary diseases that often come with it, a team at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine is investigating PTSD through the lens of inflammation. They have recently published findings of a new study, "Dysregulation in microRNA Expression is Associated with Alterations in Immune Functions in Combat Veterans with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder," in the journal PLOS ONE.

In this study, led by Drs. Prakash Nagarkatti and Mitzi Nagarkatti, the authors investigated microRNA profiles and tried to establish a link between the microRNA
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Contact: Jeff Stensland
stenslan@mailbox.sc.edu
803-777-3686
University of South Carolina
Source:Eurekalert

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