Environment and genetics are factors in assessing PTSD risk

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According to a study published in the November 2nd issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, both one’s environment and genetic predisposition are determinate factors in assessing the risk of PTSD. According to the study, individuals with the gene variant 5-HTTLPR polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) who experienced childhood or adult trauma, or both, were at greater risk for PTSD. 29% of individuals possessing the gene variant who experienced both childhood and adult trauma had been diagnosed with PTSD at some point during life. Another 10% who had the gene variant and experienced one lifetime period of trauma were diagnosed with PTSD. According to Joel Gelernter, MD, of Yale University School of Medicine, and colleagues, “…although the 5-HTTLPR genotype alone did not predict the onset of PTSD, it interacted with adult traumatic events and childhood adversity to increase the risk for PTSD, especially for those with high rates of both types of trauma exposure.” Click here to read an article from Science Daily that discusses the study more.

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