The National Center for PTSD has six operational priorities. One of the most critical of those is trying to predict potential sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder before they actually do.
The center’s executive director, Paula Schnurr, told members of The American Legion’s Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission that the Department of Veterans Affairs center is trying to establish biomarkers for PTSD “to predict who develops PTSD, to diagnose PTSD, to predict treatment outcome and measure treatment response,” Schnurr said. “(PTSD-caused suicide) is a crisis in this country. It’s the highest clinical priority of (VA Secretary David Shulkin).”
Schnurr said the center is trying to develop effective PTSD treatments. “We’re trying to develop strategies to enhance the effectiveness of existing treatments and to enhance treatment engagement,” she said. “Treatments only work if you engage.
“We actually have a lot of effective psychotherapies. We have two FDA-approved medications, and they only work so well. So novel medications are something that we care about.”