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PTSD and an over-active immune system

 

Narrator:       This is Science Today. A University of California, San Francisco, study has found that women who suffer from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, were found to have a significant immune system response compared to women without PTSD. While a strong immune system is protective of bacteria and viruses, over-activation causes inflammation, and that can lead to conditions such as cardiovascular disease or arthritis. Thomas Neylan, director of the PTSD program at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, led the study.

Neylan:          So where we really want to go with this is to look at longitudinal studies and especially in the context of treatment trials where we expect that people will get better and their symptoms will reduce. Because the real goal for us would be to show that some of these markers of perhaps a disease process can be a reverse with treatment, because knowing the answer to that would be really important as far as sort of understanding the long-term prognosis.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.