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Disease Markers
Volume 35 (2013), Issue 1, Pages 43–54
Review Article

Biomarkers in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Overview and Implications for Future Research

Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Kraepelinstrasse 10, 80804 Munich, Germany

Received 10 March 2013; Accepted 15 April 2013

Academic Editor: Daniel Martins-de-Souza

Copyright © 2013 Ulrike Schmidt et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


PTSD can develop in the aftermath of traumatic incidents like combat, sexual abuse, or life threatening accidents. Unfortunately, there are still no biomarkers for this debilitating anxiety disorder in clinical use. Anyhow, there are numerous studies describing potential PTSD biomarkers, some of which might progress to the point of practical use in the future. Here, we outline and comment on some of the most prominent findings on potential imaging, psychological, endocrine, and molecular PTSD biomarkers and classify them into risk, disease, and therapy markers. Since for most of these potential PTSD markers a causal role in PTSD has been demonstrated or at least postulated, this review also gives an overview on the current state of research on PTSD pathobiology.