Oxidative Stress Parameters in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Risk Group Patients

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Increased excitotoxity in response to stressors leads to oxidative stress (OS) due to accumulation of excess reactive oxygen/nitrogen species. Neuronal membrane phospholipids are especially susceptible to oxidative damage, which alters signal transduction mechanisms. The Contingent of International Operations (CIO) has been subjected to various extreme stressors that could cause Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Former studies suggest that heterogeneity due to gender, race, age, nutritional condition and variable deployment factors and stressors produce challenges in studying these processes. The research aim was to assess OS levels in the PTSD risk group in CIO. In a prospective study, 143 participants who were Latvian CIO, regular personnel, males, Europeans, average age of 27.4, with the same tasks during the mission, were examined two months before and immediately after a six-month Peace Support Mission (PSM) in Afghanistan. PCL-M questionnaire, valid Latvian language “Military” version was used for PTSD evaluation. Glutathione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and lipid peroxidation intensity and malondialdehyde (MDA) as OS indicators in blood were determined. Data were processed using SPSS 20.0. The MDA baseline was 2.5582 μM, which after PSM increased by 24.36% (3.1815 μM). The GPx baseline was 8061.98 U/L, which after PSM decreased by 9.35% (7308.31 U/L). The SOD baseline was 1449.20 U/gHB, which after PSM increased by 2.89% (1491.03 U/gHB). The PTSD symptom severity (total PCL-M score) baseline was 22.90 points, which after PSM increased by 14.45% (26.21 points). The PTSD Prevalence rate (PR) baseline was 0.0357, which after PSM increased by 147.06% (0.0882). We conclude that there is positive correlation between increase of OS, PTSD symptoms severity level, and PTSD PR in a group of patients with risk of PTSD - CIO. PTSD PR depends on MDA intensity and OS severity. OS and increased free radical level beyond excitotoxity, is a possible causal factor for clinical manifestation of PTSD

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