Research Finding Identifies New Biological Pathway for PTSD

Kerry J. Ressler, M.D., Ph.D., Foundation Scientific Council Member, expert on PTSD
Kerry J. Ressler, M.D., Ph.D.
Kerry J. Ressler, M.D., Ph.D., NARSAD Scientific Council member at Emory University has discovered a link between PTSD and a specific hormone found throughout the body and brain

NARSAD Scientific Council Member Kerry J. Ressler, M.D., Ph.D., and fellow researchers have found that high blood levels of a hormone produced in response to stress are linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women but not men. The hormone, called PACAP (pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide), is known to act throughout the body and the brain, modulating central nervous system activity, metabolism, blood pressure, pain sensitivity and immune function.

The identification of PACAP as an indicator of PTSD may lead to new diagnostic tools and eventually, to new treatments for anxiety disorders.

More on this discovery:

Science Daily

Good Morning America

Emory University News Release

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Please note that researchers cannot give specific recommendations or advice about treatment; diagnosis and treatment are complex and highly individualized processes that require comprehensive face-to- face assessment. Please visit our "Ask an Expert" section to see a list of Q & A with NARSAD Grantees.
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