Research: PTSD Initiative

Our projects

Inaugral study: A Study of the Physical Health and Genetics of PTSD


Importance of this research

"This study breaks new ground in taking a 'whole body' approach to understanding the impact of PTSD. GMRF researchers are not just looking at the mental health issues associated with PTSD, but also the long term impact on physical functioning including lung, heart, liver, and endocrine system function and how these may be interrelated.

In addition, researchers will look at the combination of genetic and environmental factors that may be risk factors for PTSD and its physical health consequences. This study will provide a true 360 degree review of the physical and mental health of those affected by this condition 40 years after the Vietnam War ended."

Professor David Forbes, PhD
Director - Australian Centre for Post-traumatic Mental Health, Depatment of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne



We aim to ultimately help alleviate not only the burden of PTSD but also those associated physical health conditions and diseases.

Click here to read more on the INITIAL RESULTS of the vietnam veteran study.





Future Studies: Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans and beyond

Approximately 20,000 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have served in Afghanistan, and the final 2,000 (approximately) of these will return home by 2014.

Thousands of veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan have or will develop PTSD. Many more do not reach PTSD diagnosis but suffer mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and alcohol dependency. There are distinct challenges to studying PTSD and mental health in this younger population as distinct to Vietnam Veterans, and we aim to meet these challenges.

PTSD not only affects veterans but emergency services personnel, victims of natural disasters and others who experience traumatic life events. The long term impacts of PTSD place an enormous burden on loved ones, the community and our health system.

Our future strategy involves focusing upon:

  • Developing and trialling novel prevention and treatment therapies

  • Identifying significant biomarkers which can improve early screening of at-risk individuals

  • A personalised medicine approach to address the specific comorbidities associated with PTSD

We aim to capitalise on our unique position and expertise and also to benefit from synergies with key external partners. Collectively we can help alleviate the rapidly escalating global burden of PTSD and mental health disorders and help achieve better outcomes for all people affected by PTSD, their families, and society.

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