Breaking News
January 17, 2019 - New evidence shows how fever alters immune cells
January 17, 2019 - Researchers find new class of blood pressure-regulating peptides in vampire bat venom
January 17, 2019 - Promega to exhibit new Maxwell RSC48 platform at 2019 Festival of Genomics
January 17, 2019 - Study pinpoints immune cells that could be key to tackling hypertension
January 17, 2019 - Couples Intervention May Aid Partners of Diabetes Patients
January 17, 2019 - Your weight history may predict your heart failure risk
January 17, 2019 - Explore a cornucopia of accomplishments in prematurity research
January 17, 2019 - New study identifies four characteristics that predict severity of postpartum depression
January 17, 2019 - New, scalpel-free treatment for reducing Parkinson’s tremor gets FDA approval
January 17, 2019 - Neurobiologists uncover key component of how the human brain marks time
January 17, 2019 - LifeTime receives fund to develop a plan to embed its vision for healthier future
January 17, 2019 - New NSF funded study may help physicians decrease brain injury deaths
January 17, 2019 - Ham bones contain peptides that could have cardioprotective effects
January 17, 2019 - Research finds how Candida albicans adapt to low oxygen levels to cause infection
January 17, 2019 - Cobra Biologics announces appointment of Dr Darrell Sleep as Director of Innovation
January 17, 2019 - Cellular protein that interacts with viruses appears to enable infection process of Zika virus
January 17, 2019 - Opioids Now More Deadly for Americans Than Traffic Accidents
January 17, 2019 - Women who start periods early are at greater risk of cardiovascular problems
January 17, 2019 - The brain-circuitry clash that keeps you from diving into that plate of ribs when you’re dining with royalty
January 17, 2019 - Poo transplant can successfully treat patients with ulcerative colitis
January 17, 2019 - Study suggests key role for glial cells in Parkinson’s disease
January 17, 2019 - Educational videos in clinical settings increase HPV vaccination rates among adolescents
January 17, 2019 - Better understanding of aggressive brain tumour
January 17, 2019 - Why is life expectancy in the U.S. going down? A Q&A
January 17, 2019 - The Electronics Industry Sees Money In Your Health
January 17, 2019 - Hypertension drug may improve effectiveness of ovarian cancer treatment
January 17, 2019 - Scientists reveal key mechanism in worms that controls cell’s response to stress
January 17, 2019 - How Patch Clamp Technology Can Benefit Ion Channel Research
January 16, 2019 - Researchers cultivate organoids that perfectly mimic blood vessels
January 16, 2019 - Sound Pharmaceuticals Advances Phase 2 Hearing Loss Clinical Trial in Cystic Fibrosis
January 16, 2019 - Unraveling the genetic causes of skin cancer
January 16, 2019 - Higher percentages of saturated fat in low-carb diets may not harm cholesterol levels, new analysis suggests
January 16, 2019 - Using bottled or tap water impacts health benefits of green tea
January 16, 2019 - Best trained alert dogs have potential to improve Type 1 diabetes patients’ quality of life
January 16, 2019 - States with lower incidence of melanoma have higher mortality rates
January 16, 2019 - Pollution on the London Underground found to be dangerously high
January 16, 2019 - Breast cancer cells in mice coaxed to turn into harmless fat cells
January 16, 2019 - Study connects the genetic background of autistic spectrum disorders with stem cell dysfunction
January 16, 2019 - When activated, ‘social’ brain circuits inhibit feeding behavior in mice | News Center
January 16, 2019 - How Exercise May Help Keep Our Memory Sharp
January 16, 2019 - Researchers identify a key regulator that stops excessive inflammation
January 16, 2019 - TGF-beta signaling pathway in uterine cells protects against cancer
January 16, 2019 - MD Anderson Cancer Center collaborates with Dragonfly for new immunotherapy drug clinical trials
January 16, 2019 - Drug Repurposing May Provide More Psychiatric Tx Options
January 16, 2019 - A new brain imaging study challenges the dominant theoretical model of autism spectrum disorders
January 16, 2019 - GoFundMe CEO: ‘Gigantic Gaps’ In Health System Showing Up In Crowdfunding
January 16, 2019 - Induced neuronal cells derived from fibroblasts are similar to neurons in the brain
January 16, 2019 - New study finds link between childhood abuse and suicide in later life
January 16, 2019 - Lifestyle and health factors that are good for the heart can also prevent diabetes
January 16, 2019 - Scientists take another step in understanding bacteria that cause Salmonella epidemic
January 16, 2019 - Look to Your Aunts, Uncles and Parents for Clues to Your Longevity
January 16, 2019 - Study finds ADHD drugs are unlikely to cause cardiac damage in children who take them
January 16, 2019 - Call The Midwife! (If The Doctor Doesn’t Object)
January 16, 2019 - Changes in hippocampal structural connectivity differentiate responders of electroconvulsive therapy
January 16, 2019 - Study sheds light on the deadly venom of Mojave rattlesnakes
January 16, 2019 - University of Nebraska to develop new drugs that prevent and counteract effects of radiation exposure
January 16, 2019 - Sugar-based stent makes precarious sewing process easier
January 16, 2019 - FDA-approved drug hampers cancer metastasis in animal model, shows study
January 16, 2019 - Memories of past meals influence future food intake in rats
January 16, 2019 - Low-level cannabis use can change the adolescent brain
January 16, 2019 - MTC in Rouen acquires Robocath’s R-One robot for future healthcare practitioner training
January 16, 2019 - OSSIO granted FDA 510(k) market clearance for OSSIOfiber Bone Pin Family
January 16, 2019 - Childhood body composition may play a role in future respiratory health
January 16, 2019 - Outdated commissioning methods are failing mental health services in the UK, reveals report
January 16, 2019 - Unconventional immune cells trigger disturbed cytokine production in human spondyloarthritis
January 16, 2019 - Patients Turn To GoFundMe When Money And Hope Run Out
January 16, 2019 - Researchers develop novel viral identification method
January 16, 2019 - Study proposes improvements in pharmacological study of cognitive function enhancers in schizophrenia
January 16, 2019 - Study points to potential new biomarker and drug target for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
January 16, 2019 - Differences in geographic origin of genes may affect mitochondrial function
January 16, 2019 - Study analyzes vaccine-preventable infections in children who receive solid organ transplants
January 16, 2019 - MiRagen Announces New Clinical Data in Patients With Three Different Types of Blood Cancers Treated With Cobomarsen
January 16, 2019 - Scientists uncover why knee joint injury leads to osteoarthritis
January 16, 2019 - Salk team uses new model to study health effects of AMP-activated protein kinase
January 16, 2019 - Research reveals novel approach to suppressing chemotherapy-induced tumor growth
January 16, 2019 - Researchers reveal how fasting leads to better overall health
January 16, 2019 - Deprivation and neglect in early childhood have impact on cognitive functioning in adolescence, shows study
January 16, 2019 - Training Students to use Imaging Techniques: NMR and EPR
January 16, 2019 - Nerve transfer surgery restores arm movement in children with acute flaccid myelitis
January 16, 2019 - Exelixis Announces U.S. FDA Approval of Cabometyx (cabozantinib) Tablets for Previously Treated Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Improving PTSD care through genetics

Improving PTSD care through genetics

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

After experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, such as war or childhood abuse, some people develop post traumatic stress disorder. Patients with PTSD suffer from symptoms such as nightmares, anxiety and difficult sleeping, all of which greatly impact their quality of life.

The go-to therapy for PTSD is talk therapy. However, many patients who are suffering as a result of a past trauma don’t respond well to talk therapy, leaving them without any viable treatment options.

Laramie Duncan, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford, believes there has to be a better way to help these patients. In a recent paper, Duncan reviewed 25 years of PTSD genetic research, including approximately 10 genome locations that contribute to PTSD. Duncan believes this is the first step in creating better, more personalized treatment for patients who need more specialized care.

I recently spoke with her to learn more.

What led you to studying the relationship between PTSD and genes?

Knowing that all psychiatric disorders have a genetic basis, it means that we can use genetic tools to get really detailed information about the underlying biology.

What really inspired me was seeing the incredible opportunity offered by modern genetic tools, which allow us to pinpoint the aspects of biology that are connected to the disorder.

What is your current research focused on?

We’re using large-scale genetic approaches to find the genetic basis of disorders like schizophrenia and PTSD.

When I say large-scale genetic approaches, what I mean is that we use data from tens or even hundreds of thousands of people and then we look at millions of places in the genome for each person to find out what aspects of biology are relevant to each of these disorders. That’s an approach that has really taken off in the last few years.

Researchers had laid the ground work decades before by discovering that PTSD has a genetic basis using twin studies and family studies. Very recently, we were able to use molecular genetic data to confirm those findings and to extend them in new ways.

Will this research improve future PTSD treatment methods?

What causes PTSD is experiencing trauma. But then we also know that there are individual differences in how people respond to trauma.

That’s where I think the genetics work comes in. We want to be able to understand who will develop PTSD and why. Ultimately we hope to better predict who will respond to talk therapy as we currently offer it and who isn’t going to respond as well and might need something else to assist in the process.

What surprised you most about your findings?

An interesting finding is that genetic influences on PTSD appear to be stronger in women than men. Intriguingly, our molecular genetic findings were consistent with previous family-based studies, giving us more confidence in these results.

The difference between females and males was really a surprise to us. We actually don’t know why this is the case, but we’re following up on it now.

Unlike earlier PTSD gene studies that tended to have small sample sizes and predominately male patients, this review covers a large and diverse population. With such an inclusive set of data, Duncan said she hopes this work can help a wide range of patients receive the treatment they deserve.

Photo by Dr. Valerie Rice/ U.S. Army

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles