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U.S. researchers may have found a way to objectively test for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after discovering a method to read distinct patterns of magnetic fields created by brain cells.
A research team from the University of Minnesota determined that the brain imaging device known as a magnetoencephalography (MEG) is capable of differentiating the brain activity of healthy people from patients suffering from PTSD.
Study author Apostolos Georgopoulos and his colleagues tested 74 U.S. veterans who had been previously diagnosed with PTSD and 250 people with no history of mental illness.
While utilizing the MEG technique, which has been around for over 10 years, researchers were able to correctly identify the brain scans of 72 out of 74 confirmed PTSD patients.
The test "may be able to find some signals that could help us pick medications, or even pick up signals of impending problems before symptoms develop," said Keith Young, leader of the Veterans Association Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans. "The researchers have shown us the potential this has for helping us in the clinic, but it's a first step."
The MEG test has also been used by the same group to diagnose other brain-related conditions, including Alzheimer's disease and chronic pain, Health Day reports.
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