Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a major public health challenge made increasingly more significant as Service Members return from recent conflicts in the Middle East. While effective treatments are available, a significant number of patients remain symptomatic or are unable to utilize these treatments to their full potential. Thus, additional development and treatment optimization is essential. Isolating efficacious components of treatment and empirically testing them requires multiple studies and large numbers of subjects, and thus, is prohibitively expensive. Research on mechanisms of treatment response can inform improvements in treatment development and practice. Integrating affective neuroscience methods, such as identifying candidate peripheral biomarkers, into treatment trials can make each study more informative and effective.
Dr. Rauch discusses methodology of how to integrate biomarkers measures into clinical trials and critical elements of design required to inform interpretation of results. She also presents results across several of her translational treatment outcomes trials examining potential biomarkers of PTSD and PTSD treatment mechanisms.