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VA Cooperative Studies Program (CSP)

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CSP #575-B: Genomics of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as a common and serious mental health condition, affects about 25% of all military personnel that have served in combat. People suffering from PTSD may experience traumatic flashbacks, trouble sleeping, and problems in their relationships. This study is intended to help identify genes that influence and increase the risk of PTSD, to improve ways of detecting and treating the condition in the future.

Previous research has studied genes that increase the risk of PTSD, but none of these have included a Veteran-only population. The current study focuses on US Veterans, utilizing the VA Million Veteran Program (MVP) database of approximately 300,000 participants as of August 2014. In this context, participants with PTSD are referred to as "cases" and Veterans without PTSD are referred to as "controls."

This project will be done in three stages. The first stage will look at MVP-obtained data and electronic health record (EHR) data to implement methods for identifying combat-exposed case patients with PTSD and combat-exposed control patients without PTSD. The second stage will assemble and validate a study population of 20,000 participants—including 10,000 combat-exposed Veterans with PTSD as cases and 10,000 combat-exposed Veterans without PTSD as controls. The third stage will conduct genetic analyses ("genotyping") comparing the cases to controls, to identify genes associated with increased risk of developing the condition.

This research is managed by the VA Cooperative Studies Program (CSP).

For more information on CSP 575B:
West Haven Clinical Epidemiology Research Center
950 Campbell Avenue, Building 35A Mail code 151B
West Haven, CT 06516 
(203) 932-5711 ext. 5854

Project Lead:
Krishnan Radhakrishnan, MD, PhD, MPH, CPH, Krishnan.Radhakrishnan@va.gov  
Biostatistician: Mihaela Aslan, PhD, Mihaela.Aslan@va.gov  
Project Manager: Patricia.Crutchfield@va.gov

Principal Proponents:
Murray B. Stein, MD, MPH
Director, Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders Program
VA San Diego Healthcare System and University of California San Diego
Murray.Stein@va.gov

Joel Gelernter, MD
Director, Laboratory of Psychiatric Genetics
West Haven VA Medical Center
Joel.Gelernter@va.gov

Telephone interview invitees seeking information about the interview:
Call toll free 1-844-343-0678 (Pacific Time)

Telephone interview materials:

For general information about VA:

For more information about PTSD: