Studies in human post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) employ stringent criteria for inclusion in study population (affected versus non-affected), and yet in animal study the data collection and analysis are generally expressed as a function of exposed versus non-exposed population, regardless of individual neuro-functional responses.

A study conducted by Hagit Cohen et al. (Setting Apart the affected: The Use of Behavioral Criteria in Animal Models of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology 29, 1962-1970, November 2004) proposes an interesting approach to animal models analogous to inclusion criteria in clinical studies.

The prevalence rates of maladaptive responses in animals dropped over time from 90% in the acute phase to 25% enduring/maladaptive responses at 7 days to remain constant over 30 days. Since the PTSD affects about 20-30% of exposed individuals, the correspondence with Cohenís results in animal studies suggests the setting apart the affected in animal studies might help to clarify some of the pending issues in PTDS research.


BM&L-October 2004