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PubMed | National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder 116D
Type: | Journal: Neuroscience letters | Year: 2016

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a prevalent, disabling, and often chronic condition that may develop following exposure to a traumatic event. Despite the immense social and economic ramifications of PTSD, there has been relatively little recent development of new pharmacotherapies. The majority of pharmacological randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that has been conducted are now dated. Existing treatments for PTSD primarily have come out of research that tested medications developed for other disorders such as antidepressants, anti-hypertensives, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, and anxiolytics. With an improved understanding of the complex pathophysiology of PTSD, we consider why it has taken so long to identify important targets to advance the field by addressing the underlying pathophysiology in pharmacological interventions. Exciting developments include research into PTSD-related abnormalities associated with dysregulation of adrenergic, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical, monoaminergic, peptide, glutamatergic, GABAergic, cannabinoid, opioid, and other neurotransmitter and neuroendocrine systems. Yet, this is a broad list and there are many unanswered questions. Current research on biomarkers associated with different clinical phenotypes of PTSD should lead to novel and more specific pharmacotherapeutic strategies. In this brief review, we consider key questions regarding current knowledge on pharmacological treatments for PTSD and highlight evolving practices in future research.

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