Biomarkers in the retina for prognosticating mental health treatments (BRIGHT)

Project Type(s):

Principal Investigator(s):
  • Katharine Liang, MD, PhD


This clinical trial is designed to pilot an electroretinogram (ERG) biomarker for predicting treatment response to SSRIs in PTSD. Serotonergic brain centers project to the retina, and ERG allows assessment of brain serotonergic signals via retinal signals. In this study we are characterizing the ERG waveform in veterans with PTSD before and after SSRI administration. Patients then enter an open label phase of the study, with those who have initiated an SSRI through routine medication management invited back for a follow up study visit. This pilot data will: 1)be valuable as a feasibility study for assessing the practical application of ERG in the setting of a mental health clinic and 2)serve as a foundation for a long-term goal of developing physiologic biomarkers to match veterans to corresponding pharmacological treatments in PTSD and other mental health disorders.

Project Period:
September 18, 2023 August 31, 2024

Funding Type(s):
Federal, State/UW

Clinician Scientist Training Program

Geographic Area(s):
Seattle/Puget Sound

Practice Type(s):
Veterans Health Administration

Patient Population(s):

Targeted Condition(s):