New translational perspectives for blood-based biomarkers of PTSD: From glucocorticoid to immune mediators of stress susceptibility

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Abstract

Although biological systems have evolved to promote stress-resilience, there is variation in stress-responses. Understanding the biological basis of such individual differences has implications for understanding Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) etiology, which is a maladaptive response to trauma occurring only in a subset of vulnerable individuals. PTSD involves failure to reinstate physiological homeostasis after traumatic events and is due to either intrinsic or trauma-related alterations in physiological systems across the body. Master homeostatic regulators that circulate and operate throughout the organism, such as stress hormones (e.g., glucocorticoids) and immune mediators (e.g., cytokines), are at the crossroads of peripheral and central susceptibility pathways and represent promising functional biomarkers of stress-response and target for novel therapeutics.

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