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Metabolism, Metabolomics, and Inflammation in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is defined by classic psychological manifestations, although among the characteristics are significantly increased rates of serious somatic comorbidities, such as cardiovascular disease, immune dysfunction, and metabolic syndrome. In this review, we assess the evidence for disturbances that may contribute to somatic pathology in inflammation, metabolic syndrome, and circulating metabolites (implicating mitochondrial dysfunction) in individuals with PTSD and in animal models simulating features of PTSD. The clinical and preclinical data highlight probable interrelated features of PTSD pathophysiology, including a proinflammatory milieu, metabolomic changes (implicating mitochondrial and other processes), and metabolic dysregulation. These data suggest that PTSD may be a systemic illness, or that it at least has systemic manifestations, and the behavioral manifestations are those most easily discerned. Whether somatic pathology precedes the development of PTSD (and thus may be a risk factor) or follows the development of PTSD (as a result of either shared pathophysiologies or lifestyle adaptations), comorbid PTSD and somatic illness is a potent combination placing affected individuals at increased physical as well as mental health risk. We conclude with directions for future research and novel treatment approaches based on these abnormalities.

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