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Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacotherapy of Military Personnel Suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 6 ]

Author(s):

Janine Naß and Thomas Efferth   Pages 831 - 860 ( 30 )

Abstract:


Background: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe problem among soldiers with combating experience difficult to treat. The pathogenesis is still not fully understood at the psychological level. Therefore, genetic research became a focus of interest. The identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may help to predict, which persons are at high risk to develop PTSD as a starting point to develop novel targeted drugs for treatment.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review on SNPs in genes related to PTSD pathology and development of targeted pharmacological treatment options based on PubMed database searches. We focused on clinical trials with military personnel.

Results: SNPs in 22 human genes have been linked to PTSD. These genes encode proteins acting as neurotransmitters and receptors, downstream signal transducers and metabolizing enzymes. Pharmacological inhibitors may serve as drug candidates for PTSD treatment, e.g. β2 adrenoreceptor antagonists, dopamine antagonists, partial dopamine D2 receptor agonists, dopamine β hydroxylase inhibitors, fatty acid amid hydrolase antagonists, glucocorticoid receptor agonists, tropomyosin receptor kinase B agonists, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitors, gamma-amino butyric acid receptor agonists, glutamate receptor inhibitors, monoaminoxidase B inhibitors, N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antagonists.

Conclusion: The combination of genetic and pharmacological research may lead to novel targetbased drug developments with improved specificity and efficacy to treat PTSD. Specific SNPs may be identified as reliable biomarkers to assess individual disease risk. Focusing on soldiers suffering from PTSD will not only help to improve treatment options for this specific group, but for all PTSD patients and the general population.

Keywords:

DNA, genetics, mental diseases, pharmacology, single nucleotide polymorphisms, gene-environment interactions.

Affiliation:

Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Staudinger Weg 5, 55128 Mainz, Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Staudinger Weg 5, 55128 Mainz

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