The stress-linked gene variations "may predict both risk and resilience to PTSD among survivors of [childhood abuse]," Bradley explained. "The gene was not related to depression," she added.
Still, putting genomics into everyday medical practice is in its infancy, Scheuner's study suggested. Her team at the RAND Corporation found that the healthcare workforce is woefully unprepared for the dawning genetic area, especially as more tests are developed for common diseases.
"We need to educate the workforce about the role of genetics in disease and risk assessment and the potential for new therapeutics, and we need to think about training more genetic professionals who have a background in adult medicine," Scheuner said. "We need to understand how this information is going to fit into the way we practice medicine, how it makes a difference for patients, and how best to deliver services."
There's more on genomics at the National Human Genome Research Institute.
SOURCES: March 18, 2008, news conference with Georgia Wiesner, M.D., director, Center for Human Genetics, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland; Stanley L. Hazen, M.D., Ph.D., director, Center for Cardiovascular Diagnostics and Prevention, Cleveland Clinic Foundation; Joyce B. J. van Meurs, Ph.D., department of internal medicine, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Rebekah G. Bradley, Ph.D., departments of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Emory University School of Medicine and Atlanta VA Medical Center; Maren T. Scheuner, M.D., M.P.H., RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif.; March 19, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association
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