A study suggests that mutations of genes are responsible in the development of symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. Researchers have discovered mutations within three genes which they believe these lead to develop symptoms of PTSD and depression to individuals.
Researchers studied individuals who were exposed to a catastrophe in 1988. Participants are 200 adults who came from 12 multigenerational families. All of them experienced the heartbreaking earthquake in Spital, Armenia, where many people suffered and died. Most of these people saw dead bodies and people who were injured seriously lying on the streets.
After 14 years of earthquake experience, the researchers analyzed the effects to the participants. The subject participants were asked to undergo psychological screening and a genetic test. Participants with mutations within 3 genes, which is responsible in producing the happiness hormones, where discovered with symptoms of PTSD and depression.
With regards to the results of the previous studies, they suggest that PTSD can be inherited among siblings who experienced traumatic situations like war and environmental catastrophes. But this time, the new study suggests that PTSD is heritable through multiple generations. This is according to assistant professor in the department of epidemiology at UCLA, Julia Bailey, who is also a co-author of the study.
Bailey said that both PTSD and depression are also heritable through mutation of genes. The finding according to her is consistent relating with the previous research which suggests a genetic association to both PTSD and depression.
Compared to the previous studies of the researchers, the participants in this new study were not diagnosed with PTSD on the previous studies.
But the researchers noted that the study may not be applicable for all people because the participants were of the same ethnic background. You may find this study in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
Physicians can determined through their observations if the patients are positive of post-traumatic disorder. They also give a series of behavioural based questions which can diagnose whether the person has PTSD or not. While PTSD is currently diagnosed through the observation of the physician, the scientist are hoping that someday they’ll be able to understand why some other people who were exposed to traumatic events are more resilient than others.
As far as the research professor of psychiatry at UCLA, Armen Goenjian, know, it is the genetic makeup as well as how they are raised are the reason to develop PTSD and depression symptoms.
Goenjian said that his study is relevant that is one more step to discover the better ways to diagnose and treat PTSD.
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