Improving Diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Approximately 12 per cent of the Australian population experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in their lifetime. Currently, diagnosis of this disorder relies heavily on a subjective psychological assessment, based on symptoms reported by the patient. Experienced radiographer Nathan Tosh is working to identify and isolate abnormalities in brain chemistry associated with PTSD and blast trauma, to identify early signs of these conditions and improve diagnosis.

Nathan Tosh is working on a project to identify and isolate abnormalities in the brain chemistry of patients with PTSD, using a non-invasive clinical imaging technology, 2D MRS L-COSY. By comparing the brain tissue biochemistry of patients diagnosed with PTSD to healthy controls, these may help clinicians to identify early warning signs of PTSD, or susceptibility to the condition, to inform options for management and initiate early treatment. Read more

Based at the TRI Innovation and Translation Centre in Collaboration with Siemens Healthineers, this project is part of the Diagnostic Imaging Translating Innovation Program, led by TRI CEO and Director of Research, Professor Carolyn Mountford. As a world-leading expert in magnetic resonance technology, this Program involves working with Siemens Healthineers to broaden the medical application of emerging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy. Read more about this program and the advanced MRS imaging technology

Recently, the group published the first evidence that specific brain chemicals previously associated with learning and memory are affected in people suffering from PTSD. Professor Mountford explains “This is the first time changes in fucosylated glycans have been associated with PTSD, and demonstrates the power of magnetic resonance technology as a means to objectively diagnose PTSD - by detecting specific chemical changes in the brain”.  Read more about this discovery

For more information about clinical trials around PTSD currently underway at TRI, please visit https://www.tri.edu.au/ptsd

Picture: Nathan Tosh at the Siemens 3Tesla Prisma MRI.​


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Key Researchers
Aaron Urquhart
Nathan Tosh
Peter Malycha
Scott Quadrelli
Carolyn Mountford
Graham Galloway
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Evidence of changes found in brain chemicals involved in learning and memory of PTSD patients In an important step towards improved diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),...Read more
Improving diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and blast trauma in front-line defenders Experienced radiographer Nathan Tosh is working to identify and isolate abnormalities in brain chemistry...Read more
Working towards clinician-assisted diagnosis using advanced MRS imaging technology Professor Carolyn Mountford, Professor of Radiology at QUT, leads a team that is developing an advanced imaging...Read more
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Do you have ptsd, or would you like to help those who do? The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 12.2 per cent of the population experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in their...Read more