Results from a new study suggest that whether certain genes are expressed — turned on or off — may play a role in susceptibility to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study, which was conducted by an international team led by investigators at McLean Hospital and appears in the journal Cell Reports, may provide insights for PTSD prevention and treatment.
In the face of repeated, prolonged, or severe trauma, some individuals seem to be more susceptible to PTSD while others are resilient. Identifying which individuals may be susceptible to PTSD — and why — can help researchers develop effective interventions.
To investigate, scientists used genetic data from 195,684 individuals (29,539 with PTSD and 166,145 without), collected by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium — PTSD Group (PGC-PTSD), to predict the expression patterns of genes in the brain and other tissues based on machine learning models. The team found two genes that were genetically predicted to be expressed at different levels in individuals with PTSD compared with those without PTSD.