The Root Cause of Post-traumatic and Developmental Stress Disorder
Annual rept. 1 Mar 2010 - 28 Feb 2011
TEXAS A AND M UNIV COLLEGE STATION HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER
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Our overarching scientific hypothesis holds that serotonergic influences on brain development driven by genetics and early experience induce a variation of normal brain anatomy that makes the brain highly susceptible to the effects of severe stress. We are studying this question using both clinical and basic approaches. New findings from our lab funded by VA support the existence of an anatomical phenotype conferring susceptibility to depression, and the current work seeks to extend these findings to PTSD. Animal studies have been completed and the tissue is now being analyzed. Post-mortem brain tissue from 6 of the brains collected are being used for a transcriptome study to investigate RNA expression in two areas of the cortex. In 2011, the project was transferred to TATRC for management. As required when they take over management of a project, TATRC convened a review panel that recommended revisions in the goals of the project. The suggestions were accepted and the clinical portion of the project will be redesigned in the remainder of 2011 to involve a pre-deploymentpost-deployment longitudinal study with a subset receiving MRI assessments, rather than the previous design post-deployment only. The revised budget will be resubmitted in July and the new project will be initiated next fall, after IRB and HRPO review.
- Anatomy and Physiology