Navigation Links
Trauma-induced changes to genes may lead to PTSD
Date:5/4/2010

May 3, 2010 -- A study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health suggests that traumatic experiences "biologically embed" themselves in select genes, altering their functions and leading to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

"Our findings suggest a new biological model of PTSD in which alteration of genes, induced by a traumatic event, changes a person's stress response and leads to the disorder," said Sandro Galea, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and principal investigator.

"Identification of the biologic underpinnings of PTSD will be crucial for developing appropriate psychological and/or pharmacological interventions, particularly in the wake of an increasing number of military veterans returning home following recent wars worldwide."

The findings are published today online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Previous studies have found that lifetime experiences may alter the activity of specific genes by changing their methylation patterns. Methylated genes are generally inactive, while unmethylated genes are generally active.

The new study is the first large scale investigation to search for trauma-induced changes in the genes of people with PTSD. DNA samples were obtained from participants in the Detroit Neighborhood Health Study (DNHS), a longitudinal epidemiologic study investigating PTSD and other mental disorders in the city of Detroit. The researchers analyzed the methylation patterns of over 14,000 genes from blood samples taken from 100 Detroit residents, 23 of whom suffer from PTSD.

The analysis found that participants with PTSD had six to seven times more unmethylated genes than unaffected participants, and most of the unmethylated genes were involved in the immune system.

The observed methylation changes in the immune system genes were reflected in the PTSD participants' immune systems: levels of antibodies to a herpes virus were high in PTSD patients, indicative of a compromised immune system.

While people who experience severe trauma will exhibit a normal stress response, in PTSD, the stress response system becomes deregulated and chronically overactive causing compromised immune functioning. PTSD has long been linked to increased risk of numerous physical health problems including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This paper suggests why PTSD is so strongly associated with physical health problems trauma exposure causes epigenetic changes in immune system genes and thus, compromised immune functioning putting individuals at risk for a host of disorders.

"Our findings show that PTSD may be associated with epigenetic changes in immune-system genes. If this is the case, these clusters could provide clues to our understanding of how a traumatic event changes gene expression, thus altering immune function and resulting in other possible physiologic alterations," says Dr. Galea.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Envisat monitoring changes in oil spill
2. Emdat Launches DaRT Solution That Allows Physicians to Use EMRs with No Changes to Daily Workload
3. Study finds changes in fetal epigenetics throughout pregnancy
4. Maryland's Preeminent Domestic Violence Agency Announces New Organizational Changes
5. Calvert Holdings Announces Executive Changes for Calvert Research
6. Free Anti-Aging Teleseminar Teaches People Key Lifestyle Changes To Maximize Longevity
7. Picture a Healthier You: Life...supplemented Photo Contest Asks Americans for a Snapshot of Healthy Changes
8. Canadian Cattle Producers Willing to Make Changes to Prevent E. coli O157 Contamination on their Farms
9. Small Nutritional Changes are a Key to Health, Weight Loss, says DSM Personalized Nutrition
10. YourHCG.com Changes the Way People Lose Weight by Offering an Affordable HCG Diet Plan
11. Long Island Pediatric Group Announces Policy Changes That Will Help More New Yorkers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/22/2017)... Denver, CO. (PRWEB) , ... August 22, 2017 , ... Each of the past six ... to take attractive pictures of these labels and stickers, demonstrating the variety and creativity of ... great group of label images came in. Now, it's time to announce the winners of ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... ... “Wilderness Voices”: a collection of poetry inspired by life on a Kentucky farm and ... Martha McKown, an ordained United Methodist minister with graduate degrees in Religious Education and ... sisters studied High School literature. She loved the early English folk ballads, especially ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... KS (PRWEB) , ... August 22, 2017 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com ... products to fight Fatigue . , As the stress of modern life continually ... up the pace. Constant use of artificial stimulants can trap people in vicious high/low ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... ... Stevens as a 2017-2018 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year ... is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting more than ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 21, 2017 , ... Marathon running has surged ... country. , Outdoor running increases exposure to ultraviolet radiation, a carcinogen that promotes ... melanoma, and only half may be adequately protecting themselves with proper clothing and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/26/2017)... E.I. Medical Imaging (EIMI) has partnered with ... design the worlds first ultrasound system to be used underwater ... habitat. In preparation for a piece produced by Icon ... Dr. Guttridge approached EIMI with the idea of an underwater ... sharks underwater. EIMI ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... , July 26, 2017 Sancilio Pharmaceuticals ... of our clinical trial evaluating Altemia TM , an ... (SCA) and Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). The SCOT Trial, ... the efficacy and safety of Altemia TM in ... conducted under US IND 125274. ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts , July 25, 2017 The ... treat rare nervous system diseases, has concluded a worldwide license ... the drug SOM0226 against transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR). Before this licensing ... in a Phase 2 study conducted in Europe ... the United States ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: