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Archives of Clinical Psychiatry (São Paulo)

Print version ISSN 0101-6083


GONCALVES, Raquel et al. Potential biomarkers of cognitive behavior-therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder: a systematic review. Rev. psiquiatr. clín. [online]. 2011, vol.38, n.4, pp.155-160. ISSN 0101-6083.

BACKGROUND: The establishment of biomarkers related to cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) is a method to objectively consolidate treatment efficacy, which is critical to advancing the field. OBJECTIVES: We systematically reviewed studies that used biological parameters to assess the efficacy of CBT for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and studies that used these parameters as predictors of response to CBT. METHODS: Computerized literature searches were conducted in PubMed/Medline, ISI/Thompson Reuters, and Pilot databases using both thesaurus and free-word search terms. RESULTS: 12 articles met the selection criteria. 4 of them were response predictors studies. A relationship was found between CBT efficacy and changes in the measured parameters, with heart rate responses to symptom provocation being the parameter most often studied. The reduction in heart rate was associated with an improvement in PTSD symptoms. The potential biomarkers of response predictions found included 5α-reductase, amygdala activation, activation and volume of the anterior cingulate cortex, and heart rate. DISCUSSION: Despite the scarcity of studies and their methodological shortcomings, initial investigations indicate that biomarkers of CBT in PTSD patients hold promise for more objective treatment outcome monitoring, identification of response predictors, and for developing novel treatment and prevention strategies.

Keywords : Post-traumatic stress disorder; cognitive-behavioral therapy; biomarkers; systematic review.

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