QUT’s Executive Dean of Health, psychology researcher Professor Ross Young, is one of the lead investigators for the PTSD Initiative, which was lanched by the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation (GMRF) and RSL on March 19.
The study will have an initial 12-month focus on Vietnam veterans, including some 300 volunteers to be enlisted to undergo comprehensive mental, physical and genetic examinations.
It seeks to uncover vital information to improve diagnosis, treatment and potentially prevention of PTSD.
Professor Young chairs the GMRF Research and Governance Committee.
“PTSD is a major health issue facing our defence personnel,” he said.
“It’s also a major problem in civilian life, which can impact anyone of any age that experiences trauma, be it injury, accident, assault or natural disaster.
“The PTSD Initiative builds on previous work by the research team that looks at individual genetic risk factors for PTSD and offers the potential to provide targeted and individualised assistance.
“Importantly, we are extending our work to examine the effects of genetic risk and PTSD on physical disease to ensure we are looking at the overall health of veterans.”
Pre-eminent Australian scientists, researchers and doctors will volunteer their time and expertise to undertake the research, with seed funding from RSL (Queensland Branch) and support from Greenslopes Private Hospital, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), University of Queensland (UQ) and Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology (SNP).
GMRF CEO Miriam Dwyer said the not-for-profit research institute was grateful to the many supporters who had helped facilitate the world-first research, particularly RSL Queensland.
“In our 25-year history of veteran research, this is a significant milestone in our quest to better understand, treat and potentially prevent PTSD – an incapacitating condition that impacts on many veterans and their families,” she said.