PTSD: How tweaking genes could minimize risks

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[I]f two individuals were to experience the exact same trauma, one might develop PTSD while the other remains unaffected by long-term psychiatric symptoms. Why might they experience these different outcomes?

Aside from trauma, a critical factor in developing PTSD is genetics. We’re already confident that genetic variations play an instrumental role in determining individual risk. However, we still need to pinpoint which genes are involved…

The gene known as FKBP5 is probably the best example we have thus far of a gene that interacts with the environment to promote the development of PTSD.

FKBP5 is essentially a regulator of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, our central stress response system, which is responsible for the release of cortisol, colloquially known as “the stress hormone.” Our biological response to stress is to release cortisol…. However, a dysfunction in this process…is likely to predispose one to developing PTSD, depression, and other psychiatric disorders.

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It is therefore reasonable to suggest that genetic and epigenetic risk analysis could soon become part of the recruitment equation to protect vulnerable individuals from future exposure or provide those individuals with adequate immediate help in the case of a traumatic event.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: PTSD: How Does Genetics Affect Your Risk?

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