New research suggests advanced brain imaging techniques can help to differentiate military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from those with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).

Currently, it is difficult for clinicians to make a definitive diagnosis as symptoms for PTSD and MTBI are similar, and the conditions are unable to be detected by normal structural neuroimaging.

Emerging technology using hybrid imaging with positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET/CT) in the pituitary region of the brain suggests a new method to distinguish the two conditions.

The findings also lend support to the theory that many veterans diagnosed with PTSD may actually have hormonal irregularities due to pituitary gland damage from blast injury.

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