PTSD TextPost-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that may develop post contact to a frightening incident or suffering in which serious physical harm took place or was in danger. A new study claims that people who go through both childhood hardship and upsetting events in adulthood have more chances to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as opposed to those who are exposed to only one of these kinds of events.

Even though 40 percent to 70 percent of Americans have undergone disturbing incidents, it is apparently alleged that only around 8% develop PTSD during their lifetimes. This was mentioned as per background information. PTSD is a difficult anxiety disorder that includes re-experiencing, evading and augmented provocation post exposure to a life-threatening happening.

The authors commented, “In addition to the obvious effect of environmental factors, PTSD has a heritable component.”

Current studies approximate that genetic factors apparently report for around 30 percent of the dissimilarity in PTSD symptoms.

Pingxing Xie, B.S., of Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., and VA Connecticut Healthcare Center, West Haven, and colleagues examined around 1,252 people who had undergone childhood hardships like mistreatment or abandon, adult trauma such as warfare, sexual assault or a natural disaster or both. Subjects from age 17 to 79 were questioned and examined for an assortment of psychiatric and substance use disorders. DNA was hauled out to distinguish between versions of a certain polymorphism or gene mutation—recognized as the 5-HTTLPR genotype—formerly discovered to be linked to emotional response following taxing life proceedings.

Around 229 people met the requirement for PTSD. A sum of 552 of the 1,252 participants went through both childhood hardship and traumatic events in adulthood. These people apparently had more chances to have a lifetime diagnosis of PTSD as compared to those who underwent trauma in only one life stage.

The authors mentioned, “Although the 5-HTTLPR genotype alone did not predict the onset of PTSD, it interacted with adult traumatic events and childhood adversity to increase the risk for PTSD, especially for those with high rates of both types of trauma exposure.”

The genotype may affect the approach by which the brain processes the neurotransmitter serotonin, thereby disturbing a person’s anxiety levels and altering the manner by which neurons respond to fearful stimuli.

The authors remarked, “It was only in the group of subjects who could be characterized as having had the highest rates of trauma exposure (i.e., in both childhood and adulthood) that an impact of 5-HTTLPR could be detected.”

The authors concluded by mentioning that this suggests that there may be many neurobiological ‘buffers’ to PTSD; only in instances of extreme and/or repeated trauma exposure , in which these buffers are overwhelmed, can the impact of specific genes such as 5-HTTLPR be detected.

The study was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.