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Cohen Veterans Bioscience Forms Collaborations to Advance PTSD, TBI Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Non-profit organization Cohen Veterans Bioscience announced yesterday that it has formed research partnerships with the Broad Institute's Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research and McLean Hospital to advance research on the genetics and neuroscience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The organization will work with the Stanley Center to create a PTSD genetics database dedicated to the analysis of tens of thousands of DNA samples collected from research centers worldwide, with the goal of discovering the first genome-wide association for the condition within one year. Cohen Veterans will also provide undisclosed funding to the center.

"Unlike some other neuropsychiatric diseases, we do not yet know how genetic variants affect a person's risk for developing PTSD," Cohen Veterans President and CEO Magali Haas said in a statement. "These data can provide a mechanism to more reliably predict the risk of PTSD in different populations and afford an opportunity for preventive interventions."

In the partnership with McLean Hospital, the non-profit will work to establish the Cohen Veterans Bioscience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury Brain & Tissue Collection, a brain and tissue bank focused on PTSD and TBI that will be maintained at the McLean's Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center.

"This collection is an extraordinary exciting development that will help fill a critical need for the research community worldwide," McLean Hospital CSO Kerry Ressler said in the statement. "Thanks to this new resource, we will be able to study the brains of a diverse populations — both military and civilians — who have experienced PTSD and/or TBI in their lifetime with the ultimate goal of identifying better, more effective methods of treating each of these disorders."

Ressler added that he and his collaborators aim to collect at least 100 brains from affected individuals.