ROCKVILLE, MD, UNITED STATES, October 7, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — In a pivotal partnership announced in collaboration with Polaris Genomics today, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) is now conducting military brain and mental health research using next-generation sequencing (NGS) and other multi-omic analyses on samples collected from Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and personnel exposed to war-zone trauma and/or repetitive exposure to low-level occupational blast wave overpressure.
DRDC is the science and technology organization of the Government of Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND). DRDC – Toronto Research Centre (TRC) conducts human-centered research related to science and technology involved in defence and security. A key research area of relevance to military health is investigating the biomolecular basis of brain and mental disorders that may be associated with occupational training and operational deployments. This genomic sequencing partnership enables unprecedented research on the mental health effects of wartime deployment by leveraging TruGen-1, Polaris’s NGS test and their bioinformatic capabilities.
“As a veteran-founded biotech company, we know firsthand the toll that service careers can have on our mental health, especially those serving in high-conflict or frontline areas,” said Charles Cathlin, Polaris Genomics CEO. “We’re excited to offer our lab capabilities and bioinformatics analysis to our fellow Canadian researchers for the betterment of their servicepeople, so that we all may collectively move toward earlier diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and ultimately save the lives of those who have already given so much.”
NGS is a powerful platform that enables the sequencing of thousands of genes simultaneously. Application of NGS technology will allow Defence scientists to investigate the underlying physiologic changes occurring in military members with brain and mental health disorders. NGS platforms are an essential tool for highly quantitative and adaptable multiplex-based biomarker testing required to meet specific military biomedical research and clinical testing requirements.
PTSD can affect anyone at any age. One out of 11 Americans suffers from PTSD, with a higher prevalence reported in veterans, soldiers and first responders. The incidence of PTSD has risen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for health care workers and others on the front lines.
Defence Research and Development Canada is Canada’s national leader in defence science and technology, and develops and delivers new technical solutions and advice to the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces, other federal departments, and the safety and security communities.
ABOUT POLARIS GENOMICS
Harnessing genomics, we make invisible wounds like PTSD visible. At the junction of precision medicine and behavioral health, our vision is to reduce suicide, stigma, and suffering in silence. Learn more at PolarisGenomics.com and stay connected at @PolarisGenomics.