The findings, published today, Wednesday, 20 January, in IOP Publishing's Journal of Neural Engineering, have sprung from advances in magnetoencephalography (MEG), a non-invasive measurement of magnetic fields in the brain.
The researchers from the Minneapolis Veteran Affairs Medical Center and the University of Minnesota, led by Apostolos P Georgopoulos and Brian Engdahl, worked with the 74 veterans - all of whom had served in either World War 2, Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq, and had been diagnosed with behavioural symptoms of PTSD - and a control group of 250 individuals from the general public with clean mental and neurological health.
With more than 90 per cent accuracy, the researchers were able to differentiate PTSD patients from healthy control subjects using the synchronous neural interactions test which involves analysing the magnetic charges released when neuronal populations in our brains connect or 'couple'.
The ability to objectively diagnose or 'biomark' PTSD is the first step towards helping those afflicted with this severe anxiety disorder which often stems from war but can be a result of exposure to any psychologically traumatic event. The disorder can manifest itself in flashbacks, recurring nightmares, anger or hypervigilance.
Further to being able to distinguish between the neural activity of those suffering with PTSD and the mentally healthy, the researchers also found a positive association between the certainty of their predictions and the severity of symptoms which suggests we might also be able to use MEG to gauge levels and the true identity of each sufferer's disorder.
The researchers write, "The excellent results obtained offer major promise for the usefulness of the synchronous neural interactions test for differential diagnosis as well as for monitoring disease progression and for evaluating the effects of psychological and/or drug treatments."
This work, specifically on detecting post-traumatic stress disorder, follows success in detecting other brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis, using MEG, as reported in September 2007. The method was invented by one of the research leaders, Dr. Apostolos P Georgopoulos.
This latest research was funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
From Wednesday, 20 January, the journal paper will be feely available to download from http://www.iop.org/EJ/abstract/1741-2552/7/1/016011.
Joe Winters | EurekAlert!
Tune your radio: galaxies sing while forming stars
21.02.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms
17.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News