Paul Zhutovsky

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“Discovering neuroimaging biomarkers for the prediction of treatment outcome in PTSD.”

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder which can develop following a traumatic event. The lifetime prevalence of potentially traumatic events in the Netherlands is 80.7% while the lifetime prevalence of PTSD is estimated to be 7.4% (de Vries & Olff, 2009). While there are several therapies available for treating PTSD – most prominently cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) – nonresponse to those can be high. Therefore a method which can predict whether a therapy would really improve the PTSD symptoms of a patient seems desirable.

This research project will attempt to use task-based and resting state fMRI to obtain biomarkers of PTSD which can be used to predict treatment outcome of patients before the therapy starts. In the first step the focus will be on general treatment outcome, i.e. without considering the specific kind of treatment, and in the second step a prescriptive approach might be employed which would allow for a patient-specific recommendation of a therapy.

Project start: 04/2016
Position: PhD student
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