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Awakening A Silent Witness – Sleep Patterns as a Biomarker for PTSD Assessment in Legal Settings

Presented by Linda Chou, MD, from UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and the US Department of Veteran Affairs.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a significant public health concern, poses challenges in legal contexts where trauma is a key focus. Accurate diagnosis is complex for forensic psychiatrists, relying on self-reported symptoms prone to withholding or fabrication.

Sleep disturbances, affecting around 90% of PTSD individuals, emerge as a measurable indicator for a more accurate diagnostic tool in distinguishing genuine versus feigned PTSD. This review explores current sleep literature and proposes a comprehensive assessment of sleep biomarkers, including the use of wearable devices, for objective data.


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