Introduction: Polymorphic gene variants, particularly the genetic determinants of low dopamine
function (hypodopaminergia), are known to associate with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and
a predisposition to PTSD. Addiction research and molecular genetic applied technologies supported
by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have revealed the complex functions of brain reward circuitry
and its crucial role in addiction and PTSD symptomatology.
Discussion: It is noteworthy that Israeli researchers compared mice with a normal immune system
with mice lacking adaptive immunity and found that the incidence of PTSD increased several-fold. It
is well established that raising endorphinergic function increases immune response significantly.
Along these lines, Blum’s work has shown that D-Phenylalanine (DPA), an enkephalinase inhibitor,
increases brain endorphins in animal models and reduces stress in humans. Enkephalinase inhibition
with DPA treats Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by restoring endorphin function. The Genetic
Addiction Risk Severity (GARS) can characterize relevant phenotypes, genetic risk for stress vulnerability
vs. resilience. GARS could be used to pre-test military enlistees for adaptive immunity or as part
of PTSD management with customized neuronutrient supplementation upon return from deployment.
Conclusion: Based on GARS values, with particular emphasis on enhancing immunological function,
pro-dopamine regulation may restore dopamine homeostasis. Recognition of the immune system as a
“sixth sense” and assisting adaptive immunity with Precision Behavioral Management (PBM), accompanied
by other supportive interventions and therapies, may shift the paradigm in treating stress disorders.