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Imaging Microglial Activation in PTSD wITH PET

  • Study HIC#:2000020347
  • Last Updated:07/15/2021

This research study is designed to examine the effects of inflammation on the brain by utilizing PET and MRI imaging. The proposed study will fill a major gap in our understanding of neuronal inflammation in individuals with PTSD and other psychiatric disorders.

  • Age18 years - 55 years
  • GenderBoth
  • Start Date03/28/2017
  • End Date03/31/2027

Trial Purpose and Description

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with abnormalities in the peripheral immune system, but the role of the neuroimmune system is not clear. We have developed a paradigm that allows us to probe the function of the neuroimmune system a neuroinflammation stress test. This is done by systemic administration of E. Coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS; also known as endotoxin), a potent immune activator. By performing a [11C]PBR28 PET scan before and after administration of LPS, we have recently demonstrated robust increases in brain microglial activation, as well as increases in peripheral inflammatory cytokines (i.e., blood-based markers of inflammation) and associated mood and anxiety symptoms in healthy human adults. We also have new preliminary data demonstrating that a greater LPS-induced neuroinflammatory response is associated with specific and robust declines in neurocognitive function. We propose to use this novel paradigm to probe the function of the neuroimmune system in individuals with PTSD.Subjects will either participate in up to 2 PBR28 PET scans with/without LPS challenge, or subjects will participate in a whole body FDG PET scan and a possible PBR28 PET scan. All subjects will require an MRI to match to their PET scans.

Eligibility Criteria

Ages 18-55, Medically Healthy. We accept individuals with Primary Diagnosis of PTSD or Healthy Controls with exposure to Trauma and no history of psychiatric illness.  

Principal Investigator


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