Published on April 4th, 2012 | by James Johnson1
Scientists Discover ‘PTSD Gene’ Variants While Studying Armenian Earthquake Survivors
Researchers at UCLA believe they may have found several genetic links to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The team was studying survivors of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia which killed 25,000 people and they found that a “significant” and specific pair of genetic variations that have previously been linked to depression were more likely to continue suffering from PTSD symptoms.
The genes are “relatively very small” contributors to the likelihood of having PTSD, falling far behind other factors that include gender, age and whether the victim has lost loved ones.
Researchers identified two DNA variants that contributed 3% to 4% to the severity of the disorder. A third variant also accounted for 4% of an individual’s vulnerability to depression in the wake of trauma.
The Armenian earthquake has produced dozens of studies involving PTSD because the number of subjects readily available to participate in research studies.