Biological profiling of plasma neuropeptide Y in relation to posttraumatic stress symptoms in two combat cohorts

Alieke Reijnen, Elbert Geuze, Iris Eekhout, Adam X. Maihofer, Caroline M. Nievergelt, Dewleen G. Baker, Eric Vermetten

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In order to decrease the risk of developing stress-related disorders after military deployment, biological vulnerability factors should be identified. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a peptide neurotransmitter that is associated with modulation of the stress response. Using the data of two longitudinal prospective cohort studies (N = 892 and N = 2427), plasma NPY (pNPY) was assessed as a possible susceptibility biomarker for the development of PTSD symptoms over time. Data collection started prior to deployment and follow-up assessments were completed up to two years after deployment. In pNPY levels, measured before and shortly after deployment, three distinct trajectories were identified. In both cohorts, these trajectories were not related to the level of reported PTSD symptoms over time and neither were pre-deployment pNPY levels. Whereas previous research suggested that high NPY levels might be a marker for resilience, the current findings suggest limited usefulness of peripherally measured NPY in the development of PTSD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-79
JournalBiological psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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