Genetic evidence of PTSD heritability

Posted on May 26, 2017

Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common mental disorder that occurs after a traumatic event. Symptoms include re-experiencing the traumatic event in flashbacks, an extreme avoidance of the event-related stimuli, and chronic hyper-arousal. Societal impacts of PTSD are large, which may include suicidal ideation and attempts, hospitalization, and substance use.

There are many people exposed to extreme traumatic events but do not develop PTSD. Why is that so? Genetic variation has been believed to be an important factor contributing to this resilience and lowered risk of developing PTSD. A new study from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium has provided evidence that genetic influences play a role in the risk of getting Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after trauma. The new study, which was built on data from more than 20, 000 people participating in 11 multi-ethnic studies around the world, has provided much insights on PTSD heritability.

The researchers found strong evidence that people with higher genetic risk for several mental disorders, including schizophrenia, are at a higher genetic risk for developing PTSD after a traumatic event. It was also found that among European American females, 29% of the risk for developing PTSD is influenced by genetic factors, which is comparable to that of other psychiatric disorders. However, men’s genetic risk for PTSD was significantly lower.

First author Laramie Duncan suggested that the knowledge of individual’s genetic risk for PTSD, which may be one of the most preventable psychiatric disorder, may help clinician target interventions more effectively and allow for a better understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms.

Category(s):Complex PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD

Source material from Science Daily

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