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Manuel Campos, Biology


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is a stress-related mental disorder that affects only a subset of trauma-exposed populations. While current methods hold strong clinical evidence for preventing/mitigating the development of symptomatic PTSD after the fact, current research is still inconclusive on definitive pre-trauma biomarkers of PTSD vulnerability. It is prudent to recognize vulnerability in a given population, rather than treating the affected individuals post-exposure. Further progression in this field of research could not only improve the speed of reactionary treatment by focusing on susceptible individuals, but also by creating appropriate prophylactic measures. With the military in mind, identification of vulnerable subjects prior to a traumatic situation allows for individual therapeutic preparation (psychologically, pharmacologically, etc...) or re-evaluating an individual’s exposure to likely trauma. Application of said methods can help mitigate the psychological damage, costs, & rehabilitation of veterans & soldiers with symptomatic PTSD. Due to current research encompassing a plethora of potential biomarkers, the emphasis of this work is an analysis & review of the most probable. Additionally, the ethical quandaries in utilization of these biomarkers is discussed, akin to the concern surrounding the Human Genome Project.