Scientists Find 'PTSD Gene'

Studying survivors of Armenian earthquake reveals genes linked to disorder
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2012 2:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – UCLA researchers think they've found a genetic link to post-traumatic stress disorder. The team studied survivors of a devastating 1988 earthquake in Armenia, which killed 25,000 people, and found that those with a specific pair of genetic variations that has previously been linked to depression were more likely to continue to suffer from PTSD symptoms today, the LA Times reports.

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Researchers note that the genes are "relatively very small" contributors to an individual's likelihood of having PTSD, playing a far smaller role than more readily-identifiable factors such as gender (women were more likely to suffer than men), age (older people were more vulnerable), and whether or not a subject had lost loved ones. The study is the latest of more than a dozen to spring from the Armenian disaster, which has given PTSD researchers the unusual opportunity to recruit large groups with similar trauma. (Read more PTSD stories.)

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